Published: Wed, July 04, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Matthew Castillo

Forsberg strike sends Sweden into last eight

Forsberg strike sends Sweden into last eight

Sweden will play either England or Colombia in the quarter-finals of the World Cup after defeating Switzerland in a strangely compelling but untidy tie in St Petersburg.

Boos and whistles rang around the St Petersburg stadium as early as the 25th minute, with both Swedish and Swiss fans alike left irate by the lack of quality and attacking verve on display.

Sweden had one attempt fewer on target, with the only difference being that one effort took a heavy deflection and wrong-footed Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer to send the Swedes into the next round.

The 2018 World Cup has provided excitement, thrills, shock results and great goals, and it has been widely regarded as one of the best tournaments in recent memory.

Forsberg and Sweden celebrate.

It wasn't surprising to see the Swedes sitting back and allowing the Swiss to keep possession - Janne Andersson's side had enjoyed very little of the ball against either Germany or Mexico.

Switzerland's best opening led to Blerim Dzemaili shooting over.

Four of Switzerland's five goals have come in the second half, while Sweden have, themselves, struck just once before the break in the competition thus far.

Even the goal had a fair bit of fortune about it.

This appears to be a very evenly-matched contest and the 2/1 (3.0) quote for extra-time and, potentially, penalty kicks being required to separate these sides could well prove popular with punters.

That was a fair assessment of Forsberg's contribution before and after his goal, with the RB Leipzig midfielder unable to bring any sort of influence to bear for large parts of the match.

Andersson also said his team was not satisfied yet. "We know we are a good team, that we've earned our successes - we know how we got this far", the 55-year-old explained.

"We've worked this way throughout, we're continuing the same way, and what other teams and countries think about that is not terribly interesting".

Haris Seferovic forced Olsen into a save with a powerful header as three minutes of added time were signalled but in the final minute, Switzerland were reduced to 10 men as Lang was dismissed for a professional foul on Martin Olsson.

Olsson was pushed in the back by Lang with only Sommer to beat in injury-time, with Skomina initially awarding a penalty but changing his decision to a free-kick after he consulted the replay.

Sommer saved Ola Toivonen's effort, and the game ended seconds later.

"We wanted to play down the wings but we were too slow, our passes were not good", said Petkovic.

"This team personifies the approach we all share - we work for each other on and off the pitch, and I'm incredibly happy that it's paying off", Andersson told reporters.

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