Forsberg strike sends Sweden into last 8


Sweden today defeated Switzerland by a solitary goal and move to the next round of the World Cup match.

Impressive throughout, Forsberg shimmied on the edge of the Swiss area, scuffed his shot and Manuel Akanji's outstretched leg deflected it up and over Sommer.

Swiss defender Michael Lang was sent off in injury time for hauling down the breaking Martin Olsson, even if the subsequent penalty call was correctly overturned on the strength of VAR.

Referee Damir Skomina initially awarded a penalty but changed his decision after the intervention of the video assistant referees.

Sweden have reached the knockout stage in each of their last four World Cup appearances (in 1994, 2002, 2006 and 2018), athough they've only reached the quarter-finals once since 1958.

However, Sweden will have to play without Sebastian Larsson who is suspended, which might lead to a start for Gustav Svensson in midfield. 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.

And while the match in St Petersburg could not be said to lack passion or goalmouth incidents, the quality of finishing gave the impression that neither side was capable of taking the glorious opportunity in front of them.

While that might offend the purists, Sweden midfielder Albin Ekdal has already responded to criticism that his side are not the most easy on the eye. A header would have been a much better option.

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History is beckoning for the No. 6-ranked Swiss team.

Switzerland's Blerim Dzemaili had done the same at the other end moments before, while there were further chances for Sweden's Marcus Berg and Switzerland trio Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri and Steven Zuber.

"If we've played 120 minutes we have a clear plan in place of what we're going to do, but I'm not going to enter into any more details".

Xherdan Shaqiri looked to pull the strings for Switzerland and he imposed himself on the game early by delivering unsafe balls for Blerim Dzemaili and Josip Drmic, but neither could make the majority. Their build-up play was sloppy, with the best effort falling to Remo Freuler with a late header that was saved by Robin Olsen.

So he did, emerging back out from the dressing room with captain Andreas Granqvist to applaud the block of supporters who had been the most vocal throughout the 1-0, round-of-16 win over Switzerland on Tuesday. Close to an equaliser for Switzerland.

"There was something missing in that match from us but in all the games Sweden have been involved in, their opponents have had a hard time developing the emotions and momentum you need".

"I think you'd have to ask everyone else that question".

"We've been very fortunate so far, that is true, but what we've seen throughout the tournament is that in spells we have been playing very well", Petkovic said on the eve of the match.