Emil Forsberg Sends Sweden to World Cup Quarter-Finals with Win vs. Switzerland

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IJuly 3, 2018

SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - JULY 03:   Emil Forsberg of Sweden celebrates scoring a goal to make it 1-0 during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Round of 16 match between Sweden and Switzerland at Saint Petersburg Stadium on July 3, 2018 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Sweden secured their place in the quarter-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup with a 1-0 win over Switzerland on Tuesday.  

Emil Forsberg scored the only goal of the game on 66 minutes as his deflected strike beat goalkeeper Yann Sommer. That knocked Switzerland out of the tournament and keeps Sweden's World Cup dreams alive.


England and Colombia have little to fear from Sweden

England and Colombia may have added motivation for their last-16 clash after watching Sweden struggle in front of goal and win the match only through a deflected strike.

Marcus Berg was guilty of missing some glorious chances for Sweden, who looked toothless in attack. Match of the Day highlighted his World Cup record:

Match of the Day @BBCMOTD

🤦‍♂️ Marcus Berg has had 13 shots at this #WorldCup, the most of any player yet to score at the tournament. #SWESUI #WorldCup https://t.co/ahPLXBFnkG https://t.co/XQUklmASWp

Albin Ekdal managed to outdo his team-mate with an even worse miss as he blazed a chance over from close range just before half-time. Goal's Sam Lee offered his view:

Sam Lee @Sammy_Goal

Do you ever wonder how terrible and out-of-place you'd look if you were ever lucky enough to train with a Premier League side, or even play in a match? Well that's Ekdal in this game

Journalist Mattias Karen felt a deflection would be the only way Sweden would score:

Mattias Karén @MattiasKaren

Well that was about the only way Sweden were going to score today -- a lucky deflection. #SWESUI

Sweden have kept clean sheets in three of their four World Cup games, but Switzerland did manage to create chances. Blerim Dzemaili will wonder how he did not score when well placed.

Manager Janne Andersson has few star names in his squad but has built a well-organised team who defend well, are hard-working and have a strong team ethic.

Although they have picked up some impressive results to reach the last eight, they have shown little for England or Colombia to fear and look one of the weakest teams left in the competition.


Sweden are antithesis of thrilling World Cup

The 2018 World Cup has provided excitement, thrills, shock results and great goals, and it has been widely regarded as one of the best tournaments in recent memory.

However, Sweden have contributed few memorable moments, and this game will not live long in the memory either.

The two teams created few chances, and when they did get sight of goal, they lacked quality in attack. Sweden's goal came via a deflection and Switzerland rarely looked like scoring after going behind.

James Tyler at ESPN FC offered his view on Sweden:

James Tyler @JamesTylerESPN

Watching Sweden is every bit as frustrating as trying to build one of their fabled coffee tables

Sweden are unlikely to change their approach for the quarter-finals, and while they are surpassing expectations on the pitch, there's very little to get excited about.


Lustig will rue picking up careless booking

Mikael Lustig made headlines before this match by suggesting his team would try to get Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka sent off as they were aware of his poor disciplinary record, per the Telegraph's Jeremy Wilson.

However, it was Lustig who picked up the first booking of the match, and it was to prove a costly one as it rules him out of Sweden's quarter-final clash.

Dan Kilpatrick at the Evening Standard offered his view:

Dan Kilpatrick @Dan_KP

Sweden's Mikael Lustig, who vowed to get Xhaka sent off before the game, is the first player to be booked & will miss the next match if Sweden progress. Sweet, sweet karma #SWESUI

It was a needless booking from the Celtic man when he hauled back Josip Drmic when there was no danger.

Sweden's biggest strength has been their defensive solidity, but Lustig's suspension means they will have to change their backline for Saturday.


What's Next

Sweden will take on either Colombia or England for a place in the semi-finals on Saturday at the Samara Arena in Russia. Switzerland's next scheduled fixture is a clash against Iceland in the UEFA Nations League in September.