Sweden vs Switzerland guaranteed the World Cup would have a second complete outsider in the quarter finals after Russia’s heroics against Spain. We knew it would be a tight, pragmatic game beforehand and we were not surprised. Sweden scored the only goal of the game and then impressively defended their lead to make the World Cup quarter finals for the first time since 1994, where they finished third in the USA.
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The first half was quiet as both teams engaged in a tactical battle and avoided taking too many risks. The first goal would clearly be crucial. Sweden started the game well and almost scored early with Berg shooting off target after a good play all the way from the Swedish defence had him one-on-one with Yann Sommer, the Swiss goalkeeper. A defensive mistake from Switzerland gave Berg another chance but his shot was blocked by the Swiss defence. The Swiss then started to slowly grow in the game. They made less mistakes and tried to create opportunities but Sweden still had the most clear-cut chances.
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The second half started with both teams playing pragmatic football. We had to wait for the 66th minute to see a goal. Emil Forsberg finally arrived at the World Cup! The Swede’s shot took a deflection off a Swiss defender and Sweden was suddenly infront. In came Seferovic and Embolo, two offensive substitutions for Switzerland. The Swiss started pushing for an equalizer but Sweden parked the bus and kept them at bay. We did mention earlier the first goal would be crucial and indeed it was!
VAR once again proved itself useful in the dying moments of the game when Sweden was denied a penalty and correctly given a freekick on the edge of the box when Olsson was fouled to prevent a one-on-one situation with the goalie. Sommer saved the free kick but the referee blew the whistle right after to send Sweden in the quarter finals.
Ultimately, Sweden’s resolute defending got them through! 🇸🇪