Shaqiri rebuffs Serbian fan boos, leads Switzerland to emotional win for World Cup knockouts berth

2 months ago 20

9:41 PM GMT

  • Mark OgdenSenior Writer, ESPN FC

DOHA, Qatar -- Switzerland sealed a round-of-16 match-up against Portugal with a 3-2 win against Serbia successful an ill-tempered clash astatine Stadium 974 that saw 11 players yellow-carded by referee Fernando Rapallini.

Goals from Xherdan Shaqiri, Breel Embolo and Remo Freuler were capable to seal triumph for the Swiss, with Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dusan Vlahovic netting for Serbia.

But the crippled ended successful unsavoury scenes disconnected the pitch, with a FIFA announcement being made implicit the PA strategy urging fans to halt discriminatory noises and gestures.

JUMP TO: Player ratings | Best/worst performers | Highlights and notable moments | Postmatch quotes | Key stats | Upcoming fixtures

Rapid reaction

1. Switzerland advance, but tin they extremity World Cup knockout jinx?

Switzerland are bully astatine qualifying for World Cups and they are beauteous decent astatine getting retired of their radical astatine the finals, but they person failed to scope the quarterfinals successful their past 7 attempts, truthful volition Qatar 2022 beryllium immoderate different?

This 3-2 triumph against Serbia means that Murat Yakin's Swiss squad volition look Portugal successful the circular of 16, and it is simply a crippled that the Swiss tin triumph with their organisation and extremity threat.

But not since they hosted the World Cup successful 1954 has Switzerland reached the past 8 -- they person developed a wont of qualifying for the tourney yet failing to marque their mark.

- World Cup 2022: News and features | Schedule
- O'Hanlon: Ranking squad vibes for the World Cup knockout round

Ending Cristiano Ronaldo's World Cup imagination would surely registry arsenic thing to retrieve for the Swiss, but Yakin's squad volition beryllium a information to Portugal. They are unspectacular, but coagulated and Fernando Santos's Portugal squad volition find them a pugnacious seed to crack.

Embolo and Shaqiri, who some scored successful this game, volition origin problems for the Portugal defence, but whether the Swiss tin incorporate the attacking menace carried by the Portuguese volition determine the tie.

But aft truthful galore disappointing tournaments, Switzerland are susceptible of reaching the past 8 successful Qatar.

2. Shaqiri delivers for Switzerland nether aggravated pressure

Xherdan Shaqiri went into this crippled nether immense unit aft angering Serbia with his extremity solemnisation during Switzerland's 2-1 triumph astatine Russia 2018. On that occasion, the Chicago Fire forward, a Kosovo-born taste Albanian, provoked a governmental contention by performing a two-headed eagle motion (the awesome connected the Albanian flag) with his arms successful beforehand of the Serbia supporters.

The solemnisation was truthful arguable -- tensions stay precocious betwixt Serbia and Kosovo -- that Shaqiri missed a Champions League clash against Red Star Belgrade successful Serbia with erstwhile nine Liverpool owed to concerns for his safety.

When his sanction was work retired earlier the crippled astatine Stadium 974, Shaqiri was loudly booed by the Serbia supporters and it was the aforesaid whenever helium touched the ball.

But Shaqiri was capable to blank retired the off-field distractions to nutrient a match-winning show for the Swiss, scoring 1 and playing a cardinal relation successful 2 different goals.

The 31-year-old scored Switzerland's opener astatine the extremity wherever Serbia fans sat, and helium celebrated successful beforehand of them by putting his digit to his lips and past pointing to the sanction connected the backmost of his shirt.

Shaqiri was intelligibly highly-motivated to triumph this crippled and unafraid qualification for his adopted location nation, but aft a heated enactment with the Serbia substitutes during the second-half, helium was substituted by Yakin.

On an affectional and tense night, however, Shaqiri was capable to support his caput successful hard circumstances.

3. Serbia disappoint yet again

Serbia has consistently produced immoderate of Europe's astir talented players, with galore of them performing successful the continent's apical leagues, but erstwhile again, they person under-performed astatine a World Cup and clang retired astatine the radical stage.

Other than Fulham guardant Aleksandar Mitrovic, who scored 3 goals successful Qatar, Dragan Stojkovic's Serbian squad person failed to deliver.

Since the break-up of Yugoslavia successful the 1990s, Serbia person made it to 4 World Cups and person failed to advancement to the knock-out rounds connected each occasion.

But this time, successful a radical with connected Brazil arsenic evident qualifiers, Serbia mislaid doubly and drew with Cameroon.

Top players specified arsenic Dusan Vlahovic, Dusan Tadic, Luka Jovic and Mitrovic should person fixed Serbia much than capable to get retired of their group.

But contempt taking the pb against Switzerland with goals from Mitrovic and Vlahovic, Serbia couldn't clasp connected for the triumph which would person taken them done and their decision meant they finished bottommost of the group.

Player ratings

Serbia: Vanja Milinkovic-Savic 6; Strahinja Pavlovic 5, Nikola Milenkovic 5, Milos Veljkovic 6; Andrija Zivkovic 6, Sasa Lukic 5, Filip Kostic 6, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic 6; Dusan Tadic 6, Aleksandar Mitrovic 8, Dusan Vlahovic 6.

Subs: Nemanja Gudelj 6, Luka Jovic 6, Nemanja Maksimovic 6, Filip Djuricic 6, Nemanja Radonjic 6

Switzerland: Gregor Kobel 7; Silvan Widmer 6, Manuel Akanji 7, Ricardo Rodriguez 6, Fabian Schaer 6; Remo Freuler 7, Granit Xhaka 7, Djibril Sow 6, Xherdan Shaqiri 7; Breel Embolo 7, Ruben Vargas 6.

Subs: Dennis Zakaria 6, Christian Fassnacht 6, Noah Okafor 6

Best and worst performers

BEST: Aleksandar Mitrovic, Serbia

The Serbia guardant scored a stunning header and past created a extremity for teammate Dusan Vlahovic. Serbia person had a mediocre tournament, but Mitrovic has been excellent.

WORST: Strahinja Pavlovic, Serbia

The Serbia defender made immoderate brave blocks, but his attraction and positioning were truthful mediocre that Switzerland continually targeted him and they scored goals from his mistakes.

Highlights and notable moments

With a spot successful the World Cup knockout circular connected the line, the lucifer was a back-and-forth affair, with Xherdan Shaqiri putting Switzerland up archetypal successful the 20th minute.

But it lone took six minutes for Serbia to punch backmost and equalise done Aleksandar Mitrovic.

— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) December 2, 2022

Not agelong after, Dusan Vlahovic struck again for Serbia to springiness them the lead.

But it was short-lived arsenic Switzerland got down the Serbian backmost enactment successful modulation and Breel Embolo equalised.

Breel Embolo made definite to look close into the camera aft his extremity 🎥👀

— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) December 2, 2022

After taking the pb and past falling behind, Switzerland recovered their mode backmost connected apical erstwhile it counted, with Remo Freuler scoring the game-winner successful the 48th minute.

However, this lucifer whitethorn beryllium remembered for conscionable however tense it was arsenic overmuch arsenic for its galore splendid goals.

Midway done the 2nd half, Serbia players were convinced they had earned a penalty, which the referee waved off, but the players weren't having it and started to scuffle with Swiss players a bit.

The Serbia seat comes onto the tract successful vexation aft not receiving a punishment for this situation connected Aleksandar Mitrović

— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) December 2, 2022

After the match: What the players and managers said

Check backmost shortly...

Key stats (provided by ESPN Stats & Information)

  • Xherdan Shaqiri scored his 5th World Cup goal, second-most for Switzerland down Josef "Sepp" Hügi, who has scored six.

  • Xherdan Shaqiri: First Swiss subordinate to people astatine 3 FIFA World Cups -- helium scored 3 goals successful 2014 and erstwhile successful 2018.

  • Three players person scored successful the past 3 FIFA World Cups: Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Xherdan Shaqiri.

Up next

Serbia: With their nonaccomplishment (and with Cameroon's win), Friday's lucifer was the extremity of the roadworthy for Serbia, who are retired of the World Cup.

Switzerland: The Swiss broadside joins Brazil successful the the apical 2 of Group G and they beforehand to the circular of 16 to look Portugal.

Read Entire Article