An own goal – a deflected effort from Emil Forsberg – decided this boring encounter; but it was always going to pan out this way with both sides not on many punters’ list to reach the quarterfinals.
A penalty awarded by Damir Skomina on 93 minutes was reversed after VAR was consulted.
The red card to Michael Long all but confirmed Sweden’s passage into the last eight of Russia 2018.
The Swiss had more possession in the first half but the Swedes created the better chances.
Xherdan Shaqiri had the first shot in the match in the first minute but failed to find the target with a long-range shot. The first real scoring chance fell to Marcus Berg in the 10th minute after a good pass into the box from Ola Toivonen; but he could not get his shot on target.
A minute later, it was the turn of Albin Ekdal, who pounced on a rebound, but he shot way over the bar.
After many attempts to get a good cross into the Swedish box, Shaqiri found Zuber in the 24th minute, but his header went over the crossbar. Berg struck for goal on 29 minutes and forced a good save from Yann Sommer.
Mikael Lustig was shown the first yellow card of the match in the 31s minute when he held on to Josip Drmic. After he lost the ball to the Swiss forward. Xhaka fired off his customary long-ranger, but the ball dipped after it had cleared the cross bar as the Swiss settled into attacking Sweden, who had just 31 per cent of the ball possession.
In a clearly frustrating afternoon, the first corner kick did not arrive until 36 minutes of the encounter and it was won by Switzerland. Six minutes to the end of the first half, the Swiss sparked through the combination between Zubar and Dzemaili, who linked up down the left in a one-two combo that opened up the Swedes. But Dzemaili blasted over when he should at least have tested Robin Olsen, in goal for Sweden.
Sweden then had the last scoring chance of the half. It fell to Ekdal, but he volleyed over the bar from a cross from the right flank by Lustig. Ekdal was found unmarked at the far post but he couldn’t control the volley. The Hamburg man has not scored for his country since he was capped in 2015.
The second half was following the same pattern until five minutes into the second stanza when Toivonen fired over in one of Sweden’s rare forays into the Swiss box. Behrami was booked for a foul on Emil Forsbarg, which ruled him out of Switzerland’s next match.
And just like the nature of the match, the opening goal from Forsberg on 67 minutes took a deflection off the impressive Manuel Akanji. Afterward, the Swiss laid siege on the Swedish half, winning corners; but the stoic defensive setup led by captain Andreas Granqvist stayed firm and unshakeable.
Seferovic forced Olsen into a near post save in the first minute of added time and clung on.
A penalty was reversed on 93 minutes; but Michael Long, who fouled Olsson, who was getting ready to shoot on goal, was shown a red card. The bookmakers’ 200-1 pick for Russia 2018 are now in the quarters.
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