Swedes edge Swiss to reach World Cup quarters

Will it be Sweden or Switzerland who progress to the last eight of the World Cup

Will it be Sweden or Switzerland who progress to the last eight of the World Cup

Sweden became the fifth European team to reach the quarterfinals and will play either England or Colombia in Samara.

Sweden's players celebrate the opening side's goal during the round of 16 match between Switzerland and Sweden at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the St. Petersburg Stadium, in St. Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, July 3, 2018.

The teams went into the interval goalless and the second half started in a similarly stultifying manner, with the game looking like it was inching inevitably towards extra time and potentially a penalty shootout.

It was the RB Leipzig winger's first goal of the tournament with his 14th shot, improving what had been a frustrating World Cup for him even as Sweden impressed, topping Group F and eliminating reigning champions Germany in the process.

But after 66 minutes the breakthrough came when Forsberg found space on the edge of the area, received a square pass and saw his scuffed strike clip off Akanji and sail high beyond Sommer.

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Both sides had been hampered by suspensions here too, with Switzerland more badly affected.

England will take on Sweden in the World Cup quarter-finals if they beat Colombia in Moscow tonight.

Defensive duo Fabian Schar and Stephan Lichtsteiner - Switzerland's captain - are both suspended for this tie, so Petkovic will have to shuffle his pack accordingly.

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.

Xherdan Shaqiri looked to pull the strings for Switzerland and he imposed himself on the game early by delivering risky balls for Blerim Dzemaili and Josip Drmic, but neither could make the majority.

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However, Sweden should have gone ahead moments later as Ekdal was found at the back post but the midfielder sent a volley from no more than eight yards harmlessly over Sommer's bar.

They finished the game with 10 men after right back Michael Lang was sent off in stoppage time for a professional foul on Sweden substitute Martin Olsson.

Switzerland had the lion's share of possession but were toothless in attack, and bowed out in dispiriting fashion after registering four shots on target over 90 minutes, none of which unduly tested Robin Olsen in the Swedish goal.

Switzerland pushed for an equaliser in the latter stages but neither Breel Embolo nor Haris Seferovic could find the net with late headers. Lang's red card stood and Sweden held on.

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