World Cup 2018: Sweden v Switzerland

Sweden and Switzerland are vying for one of the last two spots in the quarter-finals

John O'Sullivan Tue, Jul 3
 
LIVE: World Cup 2018: Sweden v Switzerland

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  • Hello and welcome to the Irish Times World Cup soccer blog. It’s Sweden against Switzerland in St Petersburg with the prize for the winner a quarter-final against Colombia or England, who play tonight.

     

     

  • TEAM NEWS


    Sweden make one change  from the last two matches as Gustav Svensson deputises for the suspended Sebastian Larsson.


    Switzerland make four changes. Fabian Schar and captain, Stephan Lichtsteiner are both serving one-game bans and their places go to Michael Lang and Johan Djourou. Steven Zuber replaces Breel Embolo while Josip Drmic, who came off the bench to score against Costa Rica, is preferred to Mario Gavranovic

     

       

  • TEAMS


    Sweden:  1 Olsen, 2 Lustig, 3 Lindelof, 4 Granqvist, 6 Augustinsson, 17 Claesson, 13 Svensson, 8 Ekdal, 10 Forsberg, 9 Berg, 20 Toivonen.


    Subs:  Johnsson, Olsson, Guidetti, Helander, Hiljemark, Krafth, Jansson, Rohden, Durmaz, Thelin, Nordfeldt.


    Switzerland:  1 Sommer, 6 Lang, 20 Djourou, 5 Akanji, 13 Rodriguez, 11 Behrami, 10 Xhaka, 23 Shaqiri, 15 Dzemaili, 14 Zuber, 19 Drmic.


    Subs:  Mvogo, Moubandje, Elvedi, Embolo, Freuler, Seferovic, Fernandes, Zakaria, Gavranovic, Burki.


    Referee:  Damir Skomina (Slovenia)


  • It is 24 years since Sweden won a knockout game at the World Cup, while opponents Switzerland have not scored a goal at this stage since 1954.
  • This will be the first time these sides have met in a major tournament.

  • Sweden like to sit deep and counter-attack reflected in the fact that they had just 24.5% possession against Germany and 33.5% in the 3-0 win over Mexico.    
  • SWISS STATS

     

    Switzerland have not scored a goal in the knockout stage of a World Cup since their 7-5 loss to Austria in the quarter-finals at the 1954 tournament (which they hosted).


    The last Swiss to score a knock-out goal at the tournament was Josef Hugi, who netted a hat-trick in the 7-5 defeat, including Switzerland's final goal.


    Switzerland reached the round of 16 in 1994, 2006 and 2014, bowing out to Spain, Ukraine and Argentina respectively and failing to score a single goal.

  • Time for the anthems
  • Switzerland (sixth) are the highest ranked side in the bottom half of the draw as befits a side that have only lost one of their last 25 games (W17, D7). That was a 2-0 loss to Portugal in a World Cup qualifier in October 2017.
  • Game On.  
  • 1 min: Shaqiri with a long range shot that he smothers and it careers harmlessly wide.  



    Switzerland 0 Sweden 0

  • 3 mins:  Xhaka concedes the first foul of the match. From the free-kick Augustinsson heads across the face of goal.


    Switzerland 0 Sweden 0

  • 6 mins: Swiss very patient in possession, working the ball nicely and with their midfielders tucking in, it allows the fullbacks Lang and Rodriguez to push forward in the wide channels. Zuber tries his luck from distance but it's comfortable for Swedish goalkeeper  Olsen.
  • 9 mins: Three brilliant chances for Sweden in a 60-second spell, but Berg, Ekdal and Claesson lacked both composure and accuracy. The Swedes should be in front. Those two changes in the Swiss back four are causing some issues.    


    Switzerland 0 Sweden 0  

  • 14 mins: Shaqiri has been lively and adds quality with his range of passing and crossing ability. Both sides have had their moments in what has been a bright, open encounter albeit tarnished slightly by some wildly inaccurate shooting.    


    Switzerland 0 Sweden 0

  • 17 mins: Lindelof cuts out a cross from Rodriguez. Sharqiri gets possession and whips in a cross but it too is cleared.  


    Switzerland 0 Sweden 0

  • 20 mins: Shaqiri with a hopeful long ball that's overhit but the Swiss are starting to take a grip on the midfield and picking up the loose or 'second' balls to use the popular modern term.  


    Switzerland 0 Sweden 0  

  • 22 mins:  Behrami fouls  Forsberg but Toivonen can't react quickly enough to Berg's flick on, and then down the other end of the pitch, Zuber can't control his flicked header from another excellent Shaqiri cross.  


    Switzerland 0 Sweden 0

  • 25 mins:  Lustig with a brilliant defensive header from a Lang cross, rescues his team.  


    Switzerland 0 Sweden 0

  • 27 mins: Wonderful save by Sommer from Berg, strong hand stops the ball from going into the bottom left hand corner of the Swiss net. Nice stepover too from Toivonen to create the space.



    Switzerland 0 Sweden 0

  • 31 mins: Yellow card for Lustig who was put in trouble by teammate Claesson and pulls back a Swiss player. If Sweden win Lustig will miss the quarter-final.  


    Switzerland 0 Sweden 0

  • 34 mins: Swiss midfield  Xhaka has a crack with his left foot from fully 30-metres or a 'ging,' if you prefer.  


    Switzerland 0 Sweden 0

  • 36 mins:  Swedish striker  Toivonen turns 32 today. If he finds the net, he would become just the seventh player to score at the World Cup on his birthday - and the first since France 1998 winner Patrick Viera did against Togo in 2006.
  • 38 mins:  Dzemaili fires over the crossbar after excellent link up play with Zuber. That was Switzerland's first real chance of the game, despite their two thirds dominance of possessions.  


    Switzerland 0 Sweden 0

  • 39 mins: Forsberg's free-kick is deflected for a corner off the wall. The Swedish midfielder went for a dink.
  • 40 mins: Ekdal with the miss of the match. Lustig's superb cross gives his Swedish teammate a chance on the volley from eight metres but he slashes at the chance and it sails over the crossbar.  


    Switzerland 0 Sweden 0

  • 43 mins: If Sweden go in level at half-time they'll be so disappointed; less possession but four clearcut chances compared to Switzerland's one opportunity.  
  • 45 mins: Six foot six inch former gymnast and current Sweden keeper Olsen has no trouble in claiming a free-kick from Shaqiri.  


    Switzerland 0 Sweden 0  

  • Half-time: Switzerland 0 Sweden 0
  • Sweden's Ekdal with the best chance of the half, but side-footed his volley over te crossbar from about six or seven metres. Berg too had a couple of opportunities but lacked the composure to convert them. The Swiss dominated possession but apart from  Dzemaili's shot they have created precious little.      
  • There are no changes to either team.
  • Switzerland get the second half under way.  
  • 46 mins:  Augustinsson with a free-kick that comes to nothing.  


    Switzerland 0 Sweden 0

  • 48 mins: Lovely turn by Forsberg and he finds Svensson whose cross is knocked down but Toivonen fires the half chance in the box over the crossbar.  


    Switzerland 0 Sweden 0

  • 51 mins: Toivonen and Berg making it hard for the Swiss to play out from the back. Switzerland eventually do and force three corners in succession.    
  • 52 mins: Make that four corners.  
  • 54 mins:  Both sides getting into promising positions but lacking quality in the respective penalty areas.  


    Switzerland 0 Sweden 0

  • 59 mins: Forsberg has been really excellent, invariably picking the right pass but he needs his teammates to be similarly accomplished in decision making and execution. Swiss dominating the ball but negligible end product.  


    Switzerland 0 Sweden 0

  • 62 mins: A yellow card for Swiss captain  Behrami. He will miss the quarter-final if his team progresses.  


    Switzerland 0 Sweden 0

  • 63 mins: Lovely bit of skill from Forsberg and it's a free-kick on the left hand edge of the Swiss box.  
  • 65 mins: Shaqiri drives into the Swedish box but is dispossessed and Sweden back on the attack.  



  • GOAL: Sweden, Forsberg
  • 66 mins: Forsberg picks the ball up on the edge of the Swiss box and his modest shot takes a wicked deflection off  Akanji and goes past a stranded Sommer. Xhaka booked.  


    Switzerland 0 Sweden 1  

  • 69 mins: That could have been 2-0 but Ekdal's short just clears the crossbar.  


    Switzerland 0 Sweden 1

  • 71 mins: Shaqiri's shot deflected for a corner. The Swiss like to get them in bagfuls and have won another.  


    Switzerland 0 Sweden 1

  • 72 mins: Swiss subs,  Seferovic and  Embolo on for Zuber and  Dzemaili.



    Switzerland 0 Sweden 1

  • 77 mins: Switzerland haven't scored in a World Cup knockout match since 1954. They'll have to do so if they want to claw their way back into this match. Excellent run from Embolo; his pace will cause Sweden problems. Two more corners follow.  



    Switzerland 0 Sweden 1

  • 79 mins:  Akanji with a header from a Shaqiri corner that pinballs around and is eventually hoofed clear.  


    Switzerland 0 Sweden 1

  • 80 mins:  Olsson for goalscorer Forsberg,  Krafth for Lustig. The two Sweden players were injured. Embolo with another powerful run into the Swedish penalty area, Ekdal with a great tackle.




    Switzerland 0 Sweden 1  

  • 85 mins: Shaqiri looking for Embolo but can't find him. That looks the best outlet for a Swiss goal.  


    Switzerland 0 Sweden 1

  • 87 mins: Toivonen wins a corner but then colughs up possession after taking a short one.  
  • 89 mins: Sweden's final change,  Thelin on for the hardworking Berg.  


    Switzerland 0 Sweden 1

  • 91 mins: Smart save by Olsen to denies  Seferovic. Three minutes of stoppage time.
  • PENALTY: Sweden.  
  • Olsson put through on a breakaway and is pushed by Lang who gets a red card. Referee  Damir Skomina  points to the spot but then consults with VAR. and correctly adjudicates that the contact was outside the box. So no penalty.  
  • 95 mins: Toivonen shot saved by Sommer but that's the last action of the game. Referee blows the final whistle.  
  • Full-time: Sweden 1 Switzerland 0
  • Sweden thoroughly deserving winners. Forsberg's goal had a modicum of good fortune with the deflection but there was nothing fortuitous about the Swedish victory. Swiss dominated possession but were creatively bereft until Embolo's late arrival on the pitch.  
  • Sweden will take on the winner of tonight's game between Colombia and England.  
  • Thank you very much for your company and comments. Patrick Madden will be in the chair tonight for England's Last 16 game against Colombia. You should join him.