- Sweden beats Switzerland 1-0 to reach Quarterfinal
- Emil Forsberg, who scored the solitary goal, was declared Man of the Match.
- Sweden will meet England in Last-8.
Sweden vs Switzerland, A cagey encounter from the outset, Sweden booked their place in the FIFA World Cup quarter-finals for the first time after 1994, when an Emil Forsberg deflected to Swiss goal in Saint Petersburg.
Sweden fell back on their tried and tested formula: keep defence intact, sit back and wait for counter-attack opportunity. Going by ball possession, Switzerland had the more positive influence in the game with 67% ball possession, but Janne Andersson’s strategy proved to be more productive.
Forsberg was given far too much space at the edge of the box and – having failed to live up to his pre-tournament hype as Sweden’s star attraction – saw his effort deflect off Manuel Akanji into the top corner of net.
Sweden’s progress to last-8 had surprised many. They do not have star player to lean on. That actually might turn out to be their advantage. They are now not depending upon individual to save the day and purely relying on team game. They were written off at the beginning of qualification, but eventually they elbowed out the Netherlands en route to a play-off against Italy. Nobody gave them a chance in that contest but, once again, they found ticket to Russia. This is quite a contrast, as compared to other star studded heavyweight teams, who are no more in the contest.
Previously Ibra’s tweet hinted about coming out of retirement, when Sweden qualified for World Cup last year, but Swede boss, Janne Andersson, showed confidence to his squad, who helped them to qualify. “”Gosh, we need to talk about the great players we have in this team I believe.” He had further added after Italy play-off, “What I wanted to say was that this was the demonstration that our collective acted like this during the whole length of the play-offs,” Andersson added. We have many heroes tonight. I am a bit moved but obviously very happy with the result.”
We are Zweden pic.twitter.com/rDXzRImev4
— Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) November 13, 2017
“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, pragmatic Sweden coach, summed up perfectly after Round of 16 match against Switzerland.