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Switzerland into World Cup knockouts after late drama in draw against Costa Rica

Switzerland were far from their best but they secured the point they needed to progress to the last 16 of the tournament.

Switzerland's Blerim Dzemaili
Switzerland's Blerim Dzemaili

SWITZERLAND BOOKED THEIR spot in the last 16 of the World Cup courtesy of a 2-2 draw with Costa Rica that was filled with drama in the closing stages of the tie.

Substitute Josip Drmic thought he had secured all three points for Switzerland with a cool 88th-minute finish before Costa Rica had two penalty decisions, one of which was reversed for offside.

Moments later, a second penalty was awarded after Joel Campbell was taken down just inside the box, and Bryan Ruiz cannoned the spot-kick off Yann Sommer for an unfortunate own goal to ensure a share of the spoils.

Brazil’s win over Serbia in the night’s other Group E game means that Vladimir Petkovic’s side finish second in the pool and will take on Sweden in St Petersburg on Tuesday.

Switzerland – whose last-gasp win over Serbia in their second game set them up for progression to the knockout stages – were second best for large periods against their already eliminated opponents, but did take the lead just after the half-hour mark.

Blerim Dzemaili took advantage of generous marking to power home from close range before Kendall Waston pulled Costa Rica level shortly after the interval.

Drmic edged Switzerland back in front with two minutes left of normal time before Ruiz’s late penalty ensured the game finished in a draw.

Switzerland’s attentions now turn to their crunch clash with Janne Andersson’s side, while Costa Rica are left to reflect on a campaign that fell well short of their magical run to the quarter-finals in 2014.

Additional reporting by Sinéad Farrell

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