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Sweden wins scrappy Swiss encounter to reach quarterfinals

07 July 2018

Lang was red-carded for denying a goalscoring chance and the referee pointed to the spot.

INCIDENTS: World Cup last 16 encounter between Sweden and Switzerland at the Saint Petersburg Stadium.

Emil Forsberg scored a deflected goal in the 66th minute to give the Swedes a 1-0 victory over Switzerland on Tuesday and a place in the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time in 24 years.

Blerim Dzemaili - Was a peripheral figure for the most part and blazed over in the first half from inside the area, wasting his side's best chance.

Sweden deserve credit and once again showed why they should not be underestimated, especially not by England, who they now face in the quarter final on Saturday.

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Both teams created numerous chances in what was an end to end first-half.

World Cup 2018 to determine the last quarterfinal pair. It was a good save but had the shot been struck firmer Sommer would not have been able to make it. Mikael Lustig produced an excellent cross from the right, only to see Ekdal shoot high over the bar from close range.

But the 31-year-old's best opportunity came late in the half when he sent a downward volley towards the bottom corner only for Sommer to palm the ball clear.

Ranged across the pitch in a traditional 4-4-2 formation, they are happy to cede possession - Switzerland enjoyed 63 percent on Tuesday - confident that by working indefatigably for each other they would get it back. Instead, Berg sliced his shot horribly wide, and Ekdal fired over the bar. Close to an equaliser for Switzerland. As Forsberg emphasised post-match, "If we can get everything right, we know we can be really, really good in defence and attack", Sweden's strength of the collective is what is driving them on to bigger stages. The space opened up for Forsberg just inside the penalty area and his shot picked up a deflection from Akanji to flash past Sommer in the goal.

This was another opportunity spurned by the Swiss, who have reached the last 16 in four of their last five appearances at the World Cup only to be eliminated without scoring a goal.

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It marked the first time England had emerged victorious in a shoot-out at the World Cup.

Meanwhile, the Swedes were being led out by captain Andreas Granqvist, whose wife Sofie was apparently in labour to their second child according to Match of the Day commentator Simon Brotherton. Sweden chose to forego playing in their own defensive third to neutralize the Swiss' press. Breel Embolo, a second-half substitute came closest, getting on the end of a corner, only to see an effort blocked nearly on the line by Forsberg before it was hooked clear by Swedish captain Andreas Granqvist.

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Martin Olsson had been sent through on goal and was then shoved by Lang.

The goals have been spread around, with Swedish skipper Andreas Granqvist the only player on either team to have scored a couple of times in Russian Federation, with both his goals coming from the penalty spot.

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Sweden wins scrappy Swiss encounter to reach quarterfinals