Switzerland beat Serbia after goal-rich game to advance to Round of 16

Home » Switzerland beat Serbia after goal-rich game to advance to Round of 16
Switzerland beat Serbia after goal-rich game to advance to Round of 16

The game: 2-3

It was spectacular, rich in goals, intense until the end, and, in the end, it was the Swiss players who were able to raise their arms after a superb duel with Serbia (3-2), this Friday evening at the close of the group stage G of the 2022 World Cup. Four years earlier, in Russia, the Nati had already taken the upper hand (2-1), already in the group stage, but there was still one day to go and no of the two teams was then condemned. This time, there was no catch-up session, no room for error. And Switzerland therefore made history repeat itself, obtaining at the same time its ticket for the 8th finals. The blows, the two teams returned them throughout the first period.

At the break, the score was already 2-2, because the match had started on a dizzying basis: Embolo and Xhaka had created an incredible double chance from the first minute, before Zivkovic hit the post (11th). Shaqiri then put Switzerland in orbit with a slightly deflected shot from the left (20th), Tadic showed the extent of his talent by depositing the ball on the head of Mitrovic (1-1, 26th), then by shifting subtly Vlahovic (1-2, 35th). Deprived of its executives Sommer and Elvedi, sick, the Nati, virtually eliminated in favor of its opponent, could have lost its footing. It was nothing and Embolo equalized just before the break in fox surfaces (2-2, 44th).

Better, even, for the players of Murat Yakin: as soon as they returned from the locker room, at the end of a collective action of great beauty sublimated by a decisive pass from Vargas on a pigeon wing, Freuler gave them the advantage of a resumption of the left (3-2, 48th). The pace, so frantic until then, has dropped. Serbia had to score 2 goals to find themselves in a qualified position, the step probably seemed a little too high, because the Serbs gave the impression of being resigned for a time.

Replaced, Milinkovic-Savic showed his dissatisfaction at the time of his exit, just like Shaqiri, author of a nudge in the plexiglass of the bench. But the former Lyonnais could still have a smile. If Switzerland missed a few chances at the end of the game, marked by a fight between Xhaka and some Serbs, he and his country will be good in the next round. Tuesday, they will be opposed to Portugal and will try to chain a 2nd quarter-final in a row in a major international competition.

The player: Shaqiri with Ronaldo and Messi

In Russia, Shaqiri and Xhaka had created a lively controversy by celebrating their goal against Serbia (2-1) by mimicking with their hands the double-headed eagle, a symbol of Albanian rallying. This gesture had the value of support for Kosovo, whose independence is not recognized by Belgrade. So, inevitably, when Shaqiri opened the scoring this Friday with a shot from the left (20th), everyone watched for his celebration.

Was the attacking midfielder going to reoffend or avoid, this time, any form of provocation? The response was immediate: Shaqiri rushed forward, obviously happy, he preferred to put his finger in front of his mouth, before showing, with his thumbs, his name behind his back. And he was right to show that he was not just anyone: with Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, Shaqiri became the third player to have scored in the last three World Cups.

Fact: Vlahovic wasn’t enough

Decreased at the start of the competition by pubalgia, Vlahovic had only played a handful of minutes against Brazil, but he started this Friday evening, and he believed for a moment to offer qualification to his country. Serbia absolutely had to win to hope to win it and the Juventus striker, on a ball from Tadic extended by Freuler, had deceived Kobel with a nice shot from the left crossed while touching (2-1, 35th). The story seemed good, but Switzerland equalized, took over, and Vlahovic was not enough in the end.

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