Sweden, Gustav Svensson advance to quarterfinals with win over Switzerland

Sweden, Gustav Svensson advance to quarterfinals with win over Switzerland

Sweden, Gustav Svensson advance to quarterfinals with win over Switzerland

Sweden have earned a place in the quarter-finals of the World Cup with a hard-earned 1-0 victory over Switzerland in Tuesday's clash in St Petersburg.

Sweden progressed to the quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup after defeating Switzerland 1-0 at the Saint Petersburg Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.

But Forsberg arrived in Russian Federation shouldering the creative burden left by Ibrahimovic following his retirement two years ago, and the attacking midfielder's skills and slick movement stood out at St. Petersburg Stadium.

Forsberg's 66th-minute shot was directed straight at Sommer until Manuel Akanji stuck out a foot and deflected it past his stranded keeper.

Switzerland's Michael Lang was sent off in injury-time for a last-ditch push on Martin Olsson and referee Damir Skomina downgraded his penalty to a free-kick on the edge of the area.

Sweden, who are thriving at their first tournament without retired star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, will face either England or Colombia in a July 7 quarter-final in Samara.

Unfortunately for Switzerland fans, Petkovic's team talk inspiration failed to materialise as his side entered the second half without the same venom or verve they had demonstrated in their previous second-half appearances.

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The Swedes were limited but played to the strengths that got them past Italy in the two-leg World Cup playoff and to the top of a group containing defending champion Germany, Mexico and South Korea. They were without both Fabian Schaer and captain Stephan Lichtsteiner at the back, prompting Johan Djourou and Lang to come in.

Janne Andersson's side continued their good showing in Russian Federation, creating the clearer chances in the first period but contriving to waste them all.

Svensson may return to the bench for the quarterfinal as Sebastian Larsson will be returning from suspension. Tinkering between strikers, he has now started three different forwards to lead the line in Switzerland's four World Cup matches.

Eventually Sweden capitalized when their brightest spark, Forsberg, struck thanks to the deflection off the unfortunate Akanji.

Lustig dragged a long-range attempt in the first half sideways and it went out for a throw-in. Switzerland didn't have a chance to get to the other end after the resulting free kick was saved.

Xhaka was booked for pulling back Viktor Claesson as Sweden looked to break, and then Shaqiri's strike from inside the area was blocked and deflected wide.

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