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Dublin: 10°C Wednesday 30 September 2020


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Hello, and welcome to today’s liveblog.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail, tweet @the42_ie, post a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Kick off for the game is at 3pm.

Russia Soccer WCup Sweden Switzerland A Sweden supporter cheers ahead of their round of 16 match against Switzerland. Source: Martin Meissner

We’re under way…


It’s been a fairly slow start.

Neither side has carved out any real clear-cut chances yet.


Zuber gets in a shot but his attempt is comfortably saved.

Down the other end,  Berg is played through, but his shot is sliced wide.

Moments later, Akanji heads straight to Ekdal, whose shot on the edge of the area is off target.


Shaqiri’s cross eludes everyone.

This game is still very tight.

Sweden have edged it in terms of possession and territory, but there really is very little between these sides so far.


It continues to be very scrappy, with little in the way of quality in the final third.

The latest example is an overhit pass by Shaqiri, who has not been at his best so far.


Better from Shakiri — his well-executed cross is headed over by Zuber.

Switzerland are gradually coming into this game more.



Switzerland have had 63% of the possession so far according to the BBC’s stats.

And the only shot on target too.


It’s the closest we’ve come to a goal so far.

The ball falls to Berg on the edge of the box, whose powerful bouncing shot is well saved by the outstretched Sommer.


For all Switzerland’s possession, Sweden have probably looked the more dangerous of the two sides in attack.

The majority of the half-chances have come their way.


Wow! Xhaka has a shot from what must be close to 50 yards out.

It sails just over, but it’s an example of the tremendous power the Arsenal man can get into his shots.


It hasn’t been the best game in the world to watch entertaining-wise, though we have been spoiled over the past few days.

Also, it’s worth noting that Japan-Belgium was 0-0 at half-time last night, before subsequently turning into a classic.


Zuber and Džemaili play a nice one-two, before the latter fires off target from the edge of the area.

That’s probably been their best chance of the match so far, even though it was a half chance at best.

As I type, Forsberg’s free kick is deflected over, before a brilliantly executed cross by Lustig is volleyed woefully over from close range by Ekdal.


Shaqiri is drifting closer to the centre of the pitch to try to have more of an influence on the play.

His dangerous cross into the box has just eluded everyone, summing up Switzerland’s problems in microcosm.

Vladimir Petković’s side simply haven’t offered enough threat in the final third, for all their organisation and solidity.


Russia Soccer WCup Sweden Switzerland Switzerland's Manuel Akanji, right, and Sweden's Marcus Berg fight for the ball. Source: AP/PA Images


A good omen for Sweden?


So this game remains in the balance with 45 minutes, or potentially longer, to play.

Both sides look solid and cancelled each other out for long periods, but Sweden will probably be marginally happier having created the better chances.


The second half has begun…


Another half chance for Sweden, with Toivonen blasting over, as the ball falls to him on the edge of the area.

That move all started in the middle of the field with Forsberg producing lovely skill to evade a couple of players.


Rodríguez finds space down the left, but Lindelöf does well to get the block in.

The 23-year-old centre-back, who hasn’t had the best of seasons at Man United, has looked impressive so far.

I might well be wrong, but at the moment, this game has the feel of a match that is destined for penalties.



Russia Soccer WCup Sweden Switzerland Switzerland's Johan Djourou, left, duels for the ball with Sweden's Marcus Berg. Source: Dmitri Lovetsky


Behrami has been booked for a late challenge on Forsberg and will consequently miss the next match if Switzerland progress.

Lustig will also miss out in the quarters if Sweden go through, having been booked earlier.


Switzerland’s possession dominance has gone up to 67%, but they continue to look pretty toothless.

Meanwhile, Forsberg smashes a free kick into the wall.

It doesn’t feel like we’ll be getting a goal anytime soon, although hopefully I’ll be proven wrong.


Forsberg’s shot from the edge of the box takes a wicked deflection off Akanji before finding the corner of the net.

It probably feels appropriate that in a game short of attacking quality, the opening goal has been scored through a moment of good fortune.

It’s probably just about deserved though, as Sweden have consistently looked like the more likely team to break the deadlock.


A free kick is half headed clear, before Shaqiri’s shot from the edge of the area is deflected off target.

Switzerland really need to step it up here, with just under 20 minutes of normal time to rescue their World Cup hopes.


Switzerland make a double change in an attempt to find an equaliser.

Džemaili and Zuber are replaced by Seferović and Embolo.


Shaqiri plays a decent ball into the box, but Akanji can’t quite get on the end of it.

Claesson appears to give the defender a slight nudge as he goes for the ball to make things a little more difficult for him.

The same Swedish player moments later blatantly dives in an unsuccessful attempt to win a free kick.


Switzerland are beginning to dominate this game a bit more now, pushing more players forward.

Sweden, meanwhile, seem increasingly content to sit back, soak up pressure and play on the counter-attack.

As I type, Shaqiri’s corner is headed by Akanji, but Forsberg is well positioned to block the ball on the line, before Granqvist — who has been impressive today — clears.


Sweden make a double change.

Lustig and the goalscorer Forsberg — who both appear to have picked up knocks — are replaced by Swansea’s Martin Olsson and Emil Krafth, who plays his club football with Bologna.


Shaqiri finds himself in a promising position on the right, but his cross is overhit.

Switzerland have been really poor in attack for a side at this level, they have never really looked capable of scoring (though I may have just jinxed that).


If first you don’t succeed…


A final change for Sweden.

Isaac Kiese Thelin replaces Marcus Berg in attack.


A rare chance for Switzerland.

Seferović gets his head on a cross, but it’s straight at Olsen, who makes a relatively comfortable save.




Red card for Lang, after he is the last man and impedes Olsson from going through on goal.

After initially appearing to award Sweden a penalty, the officials decide the infringement was on the edge of the box and a free kick is given.

Toivonen’s subsequent free kick is straight at Sommer.

So that’s that, Sweden are in the quarter-finals for the first time since 1994.

It was a dramatic end I suppose, though it would have been far more interesting if the penalty claim and red card had been at the other end.

It’s been a marvellous World Cup, though that game certainly won’t be considered one of the standouts.

Sweden weren’t especially impressive, but they were well-organised and looked very impressive defensively.

They had the fortune you need in big tournaments with Forsberg’s heavily deflected goal, while Switzerland can’t really have any complaints — they didn’t create nearly enough clear-cut chances, with their big attacking players such as Zuber and Shaqiri distinctly underwhelming.

Sweden now progress to the quarter-finals and will face either England or Colombia in the final eight.

Janne Andersson’s side still won’t be one of the favourites to win the World Cup, but they are very hard to beat and have the potential to frustrate any team — there is a touch of Greece-at-Euro 2004 about them.

Here’s a look at how the quarter-finals are shaping up…

6 July

Uruguay v France

Brazil v Belgium

7 July 

Sweden v England or Colombia

Russia v Croatia

Russia Soccer WCup Sweden Switzerland Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer reacts after Sweden's Emil Forsberg scores his side's opening goal. Source: Dmitri Lovetsky

Russia Soccer WCup Sweden Switzerland Sweden's Emil Forsberg, centre, celebrates with team-mates. Source: AP/PA Images

Right, that’s all from me.

Thanks for reading and commenting, we’ll have more reaction to follow.

You can read our match report here.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy


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