Djourou, Lang start as Swiss make four changes for Sweden game

07 July, 2018, 02:53 | Author: Ellis Copeland
  • Will it be Sweden or Switzerland who progress to the last eight of the World Cup

They saw off both the Netherlands and Italy in qualifying, before finishing above Germany and Mexico in Group F.

Underestimate them at your peril. "But they created. chances from counterattack and of course not always attractive football wins games".

The desperate Swiss, looking for an equaliser were hit by a counter as Martin Olssen latched on to a through ball.

There was little to enthuse about in the first half for either the fans of Switzerland's Red Crusaders not the ssons (excuse the pun) and daughters of Sweden.

Vladimir Petkovic's team had lost just one of their last 25 games and come through a group stage in Russian Federation that included Brazil and Serbia.

Ricardo Rodriguez crossed a ball into the box but the Swiss striker's header was denied by Olsen.

It seems to wrong to single out an individual when victory was the effect of a strong team dynamic but central defender and skipper Andreas Granqvist epitomised all that was good about his team.

And on Tuesday, Sweden proved that once again that dogged defending and huge collective effort can be very effective, even in the knockout stages of the World Cup. They were worse than even we thought and if the victors aren't rolled out of Russian Federation by Gareth Southgate's team in the last-eight then England's revival under their new coach will have to have a sizeable asterix placed against it.

Sweden secured their place in the quarter-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup with a 1-0 win over Switzerland on Tuesday.

He scored what turned out to be the match-winner, but Forsberg was crucial to the way Sweden played against a Switzerland side who dominated the majority of the possession.

Sweden is doing better at this World Cup than it ever did with Ibra.

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Switzerland pushed for an equalizer but Sweden closed ranks at the back, keeping the sixth-ranked side in the world at bay to record their third clean sheet of the tournament.

Forsberg's second-half strike, which deflected off the unfortunate Manuel Akanji, means Sweden are through to the World Cup last eight for the first time since 1994 in the United States.

On the 21st minute Shaqiri delivered another long cross-in, but it was calmly collected by Sweden keeper Robin Olsen. No player has tried more without scoring.

"We have to be ready to play really from the get-go in such a way to have the initiative on our side", coach Vladimir Petkovic said Monday through an interpreter.

There were few clear cut chances, mostly from the Swedish attackers.

But after the match all the conversation centred on the deflected shot from Emil Forsberg that gave the better team on the day the correct outcome.

"There was something missing in that match", Petkovic said. He can pick a pass too, and made more assists than any other player in the Bundesliga in 2016/17. "But in the end it wasn't enough".

"He has developed in terms of the holistic approach to his game", Sweden coach Janne Andersson said.

"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". We know that we are a good team and that we have earned our successes.

"We're going to focus on one thing when we've digested this victory, and that's the game on Saturday".


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