Sweden will face either Colombia or England in the quarterfinals on Saturday July 7th in Samara, after beating Switzerland 1-0 on Tuesday in the Round of 16 at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
The only goal came from a deflected Emil Forsberg effort in the 66th minute which sealed the victory for Sweden
The Swiss did not try to close down Emil Forsberg more forcefully. The playmaker from RB Leipzig had a lot of space and time, before taking aim, even though the deflected shot off the leg of Manuel Akanji was of course a bit lucky.
After getting past Granit Xhaka, Forsberg didn’t get much power behind his shot from the edge of the area and it was likely heading straight for Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer. However, it took a deflection off the foot of center back Manuel Akanji and bounced up and into the net.
It was enough to make Sweden the fifth European team to reach the quarterfinals.
Forsberg is the first Swede to score in the World Cup knockout rounds since Henrik Larsson against Senegal in 2002.
The Swedes reach the last eight for the first time since 1994, when the team reached the semifinals.
The Swiss have reached the last 16 in four of the last five World Cups only to be eliminated without scoring a goal. They haven’t scored in a knockout game in soccer’s biggest tournament in 64 years, when they last reached in the quarterfinals at home in 1954.
There was another success for the video assistant referee, VAR. Referee Damir Skomina’s decision to award the late penalty against Lang looked correct at the time, but a review showed Olsson was just outside the box when he was tripped.
It didn’t matter, though. Switzerland didn’t have a chance to get to the other end after the resulting free kick was saved.
“It just means so much to me that we managed to win again in such an extraordinary way. We didn’t give Switzerland many chances at all. To see what we’re achieving together, it just brings tears to my eyes and makes me so proud. If we get everything right, we know we can be really good both in defence and attack. We’re in the quarter-finals now and that’s proof that we’re doing something very well.” Man of the Match, Emil Forsberg said at the post game press conference.
“It was a surreal feeling to stand at the side of the pitch hearing the fans calling out my name, but football is a team sport and this team, for me, personifies that. We all work so hard for each other on and off the pitch. We know that we are a good team and that we have earned our successes. We’re all very happy about the successes we have seen so far. But we need to digest this quickly as we have another game coming up soon, on Saturday. It’s all about the process right now and it’s full steam ahead for us. We’re not satisfied with what we’ve done – we want to win the next match too.” Janne Andersson, Sweden coach said.
“We’re sorely disappointed, the whole team is. We clearly wanted to do more. But we also congratulate the Swedish team as they have done precisely what they are very good at, and it has been enough to beat us. Once they score a goal, they’re an extremely tough nut to crack. We should have done better but were simply below par and not good enough to win the game. There was something missing in that match from us but in all the games Sweden have been involved in, their opponents have had a difficult time developing the emotions and momentum you need. In the last ten or 15 minutes, we tried to play with more emotion and it went better, I think. But in the end it wasn’t enough.” Vladimir Petkovic, Switzerland coach said.
A total of 32 national football teams are participating in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, held in 11 cities across Russia between June 14 and July 15.
The teams were divided into eight groups, with four in each, and the top two from their relevant groups proceeded to the next round, known as the playoffs or the knockout stage, to keep vying for the much-coveted FIFA World Cup Trophy.
Russia is holding its first time ever edition of the FIFA World Cup, which kicked off in Moscow with a spectacular opening show at the Luzhniki Stadium on the night of June 14. The World Cup is being held at 12 arenas across 11 cities with the final set to be played at Luzhniki on July 15. The 11 host cities are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.