Sweden showed their worth yet again. After another dominating performance against Switzerland, they are in the quarterfinals of the tournament and are waiting for their opponent. These guys just keep on getting better. They have eliminated Italy in the playoff round to qualify to the World Cup. This month they were first in a group consisted of Mexico, South Korea and Germany.
Switzerland were one of the best teams in the group-stage, but they failed to deliver in the knock-out stage. They drew in the opening game against Brazil, won against the Serbians in a decisive match and drew against Costa Rica in the last game.
Switzerland weren’t all bad today, but they really couldn’t find a way to deal with Sweden’s counter attacks. Emil Forsberg had an amazing game, creating chance after chance and provoking havoc in Switzerland’s defense. He even scored the only goal of the game with a big help from Manuel Akanji.
The talented Swiss defender tried to block Forsberg’s shot but he only managed to fool his goalkeeper. It was not Akanji’s fault at all. Sweden’s goal just had to happen because they were much more dangerous. Switzerland had much more of the ball but it seemed like they couldn’t score even if they played another 90 minutes. Sweden’s defense and goalkeeper had a great performance.
Lichtsteiner and Schar missed the match as they accumulated two yellow cards and Switzerland could have been more solid at the back if they played. On the other side, Ekdal will now miss the quarterfinal against England/Colombia.
After the match, Emil Forsberg was obviously chosen as the Man of the Match and this is what he said when he received the award:
“It just means so much to me that we managed to win again in such an extraordinary way. We didn’t give Switzerland many chances at all. To see what we’re achieving together, it just brings tears to my eyes and makes me so proud. If we get everything right, we know we can be really good both in defence and attack. We’re in the quarter-finals now and that’s proof that we’re doing something very well.” via www.fifa.com
Near the end, Sweden had a chance to finish off the game but Lang fouled Olsson and he got a red card. The referee firstly pointed to the spot, but after reviewing the play he concluded that it was outside of the box. The birthday guy Ola Toivonen tried to score from the free-kick but Sommer stopped his shot.
Olsen; Lustig (Krafth), Lindelof, Granqvist, Augustinsson; Claesson, Svensson, Ekdal, Forsberg (Olsson); Toivonen, Berg (Kise Thelin).
Sommer; Lang, Djourou, Akanji, Rodriguez; Behrami, Xhaka; Shaqiri, Dzemaili (Embolo), Zuber; Drmic (Seferovic).
Sweden are one of the biggest surprises in the tournament and no one should be surprised if they reach the semifinals. They have a very solid defense and deadly counter attacks. They could win against both Colombia and England. This is the first time in 24 years that they are playing in the quarterfinals and they will be trying to repeat their 1994 success when they got the bronze.