Emil Forsberg delivers, Sweden reaches World Cup quarterfinals

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With World Cup hopes fading, Switzerland tried to force an equaliser.

Achilles will predict the results of the World Cup's semifinal and a match for the third place due to be held in St. Petersburg on July 10 and July 14.

Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic: "We're sorely disappointed, the whole team is".

"If I'm the symbol, I can live with that but this is very much about the team, not about me or any other individual", Andersson said.

Well, he was right.

Sweden is on the same side of the bracket as Russian Federation and Croatia, whose quarter-final matchup will be played Saturday in Sochi.

"It was not handsome football today from them", Shaqiri said.

For Sweden it did.

There were chances and Sweden had majority. But that is a marginal call and relative to the low quality of this game.

After an uneventful first half, Emil Forsberg fired a shot that was deflected off Manuel Akanji into the net in the 66th-minute to secure the win for the Swedes and earn a slot in the last 8 for the first time since 1994. All huff and puff and rigid straight lines. I'm incredibly happy it's paying off. Football is a game played by a team.

If they are to trouble England greatly in Samara on Saturday afternoon, it will in all likelihood be from a set piece.




The advertising boards of Ibrahimovic's latest commercial partner dominating the perimeter of the field nearly seemed to be mocking a Sweden performance high on graft but low on craft until the player seen by many as his true heir stepped forward.

In keeping with Andersson's emphasis on a team ethic for a squad lacking in individual star talent following Zlatan Ibrahimovic's retirement from global football, Forsberg has had to sacrifice some of his qualities for the team.

The two strikers are decent in the air and have plenty of muscle.

Marcus Berg forced a fine save from Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer in the 27th minute, and Albin Ekdal squandered an excellent chance when he volleyed over the bar from 12 meters out after getting on the end of a cross from Mikael Lustig. He was able to get a shot off on the turn, which sprung the Swiss keeper into life as he got down well to make a good save.

That was at least an incident of note but there were not many more in the first half. There was Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri waiting to seize the moment which never arrived.

One cross was expertly delivered in to the area only for Steven Zuber to head over while another passed dangerously across the front of goal and wide.

The second half started in a similarly stultifying manner, with play bogged down in midfield and both sides looking to be inching inevitably towards extra time and a penalty shootout until Forsberg struck in the 66th minute to inject a flicker of life into the contest. Maybe this hints at a weakness at the heart of the Swedish defence.

It marked the first time England had emerged victorious in a shoot-out at the World Cup.

In truth, even that late drama was not very dramatic.

England banished their penalty shoot-out demons as they beat Colombia to set up a quarter-final clash with Sweden on another dramatic day at the FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation.

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