Sweden are through to the World Cup 2018 quarter-finals after defeating Switzerland in St Petersburg.
Emil Forsberg’s second-half strike – the only goal of the game – set up a last-eight clash with either Colombia or England, who play each other tonight.
Forsberg’s 66th-minute deflected shot, which came off Manuel Akanji and flew past Yann Sommer, was his first at this summer’s tournament after 14 attempts.
Persistence paid off for the Swedes had the best opportunities in the first-half with Albin Ekdal firing over after a poor clearance from Sommer, who later made a good save to deny Marcus Berg.
Switzerland’s best opening led to Blerim Dzemaili shooting over, but it was Forsberg who sealed the tie with his fortuitous goal.
Their quarter-final takes place on Saturday at 3 pm at the Samara Arena.
Some lovely statistics for you
- Sweden has qualified for their first World Cup quarter-final since 1994.
- Switzerland has never won a World Cup knockout match; suffering elimination in all seven matches, including their last four round of 16 games (in 1994, 2006, 2014 and 2018).
- Sweden has won back to back World Cup matches for the first time since 1958 when they won the quarter-final and semi-final on their way to the final as host nation that year.
- This was only Switzerland’s fourth defeat in their last 15 matches at the last four World Cup tournaments, with three of those defeats coming by a 1-0 scoreline.
- This defeat was Switzerland’s first since October 2017 when they lost 2-0 to Portugal in a World Cup qualifier, ending a run of nine unbeaten matches.
- Sweden kept their third clean sheet in four games at the 2018 World Cup – as many shutouts as they’d recorded in their previous 24 matches combined at the World Cup finals.
- Emil Forsberg scored his first World Cup goal for Sweden with his 14th shot of the tournament.
- Eight of Sweden’s last nine World Cup goals have been scored in the second half of matches.
- Sweden goalkeeper Robin Olsen has kept three clean sheets at the 2018 World Cup, a joint-record for a Swedish goalkeeper in World Cup finals history (also three clean sheets for Ronnie Hellström in 1974 and Karl Svensson in 1958).
- Sweden’s Marcus Berg attempted three shots in this match and has now had 13 shots without scoring at the 2018 World Cup, more than any other player.