Published: Sat, June 23, 2018
Sport | By Joe Gonzales

Shaqiri snatches last-gasp 2-1 win for Swiss over Serbia

Shaqiri snatches last-gasp 2-1 win for Swiss over Serbia

Xherdan Shaqiri scored a late victor to help Switzerland stun Serbia 2-1 in their second Group E game on Friday.

"I think we should not talk that much but show our mettle on the pitch".

Serbia almost had their second just before the half but Dusko Tosic's diving header from point-blank range skidded off his head to Nemanja Matic who couldn't react fast enough to finish the chance.

His father, an ethnic Albanian, was imprisoned in Serbia in the 1980s. Not between Swiss and Serbian fans, but between Albanian and Serbian supporters.

Mladen Krstajic's team entered the match knowing that a victory would see them advance to the round of 16, but Granit Xhaka's second-half effort cancelled an early header from Aleksandar Mitrovic, before Xherdan Shaqiri won it for Switzerland in the final minute.

Serbia raced out of the blocks, funnelling possession to Southampton winger Dusan Tadic on the right flank, who troubled Switzerland with his crossing all match.

Mitrovic too looked lively, winning header after header over the Swiss centre backs and he opened the scoring on five minutes with an emphatic finish off an exquisite cross from Tadic.

On the half-hour mark, Steven Zuber cleverly teed up Blerim Dzemaili but the Hoffenheim man got his feet in a muddle and Vladimir Stojkovic was able to parry away.

England's Harry Kane wants to be 'best in the world'
Players still had to cover themselves with bug spray before the game and at halftime, but that seemed to have little effect. Had Germany/Brazil controlled a game like that we would have been purring. "Maybe tonight we could have run out of time".

A draw for Serbia would have put them in the ascendancy going into that crucial crunch clash with the South Americans, but the Europeans will now be resting their hopes of qualification on, not only a Costa Rican masterclass, but also a masterclass of their own against the most decorated nation in the competition's history.

Xhaka equalised for the Swiss seven minutes after the break with a superb left-footed strike from the edge of the box that sailed past the helpless Stojkovic.

Shaqiri nearly sent Switzerland ahead just before the hour when he curled a spectacular effort towards the top corner, but the ball hit the outside of the post before dropping behind.

Switzerland snatched a last-gasp victor against Switzerland on Friday night, Stoke City's Xherdan Shaqiri keeping their dream of qualifying well and truly alive. "We turned the match around and this is something we wouldn't have achieved years ago".

The result moves Switzerland to four points in World Cup Group E, level with Brazil, while Serbia are one point behind.

"It's not just my opinion, the entire federation and the team and the entire world should actually share that opinion because it's something we do not need here".

"We lost our bearings a little in the first half but we bounced back", said Petkovic.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).

Like this: