Shaqiri rebuffs Serbian fan boos, leads Switzerland into spherical of 16


DOHA, Qatar — Switzerland sealed a round-of-16 match-up in opposition to Portugal with a 3-2 win in opposition to Serbia in an ill-tempered conflict at Stadium 974 that noticed 11 gamers yellow-carded by referee Fernando Rapallini.

Targets from Xherdan Shaqiri, Breel Embolo and Remo Freuler have been sufficient to seal victory for the Swiss, with Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dusan Vlahovic netting for Serbia.

However the recreation led to unsavoury scenes off the pitch, with a FIFA announcement being revamped the PA system urging followers to cease discriminatory noises and gestures.

JUMP TO: Participant scores | Finest/worst performers | Highlights and notable moments | Postmatch quotes | Key stats | Upcoming fixtures

Fast response

1. Switzerland advance, however can they finish World Cup knockout jinx?

Switzerland are good at qualifying for World Cups and they’re fairly first rate at getting out of their group on the finals, however they’ve failed to succeed in the quarterfinals of their final seven makes an attempt, so will Qatar 2022 be any totally different?

This 3-2 win in opposition to Serbia implies that Murat Yakin’s Swiss staff will face Portugal within the spherical of 16, and it’s a recreation that the Swiss can win with their organisation and objective risk.

However not since they hosted the World Cup in 1954 has Switzerland reached the final eight — they’ve developed a behavior of qualifying for the event but failing to make their mark.

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Ending Cristiano Ronaldo‘s World Cup dream will surely register as one thing to recollect for the Swiss, however Yakin’s staff shall be a hazard to Portugal. They’re unspectacular, however strong and Fernando Santos’s Portugal staff will discover them a tricky nut to crack.

Embolo and Shaqiri, who each scored on this recreation, will trigger issues for the Portugal defence, however whether or not the Swiss can comprise the attacking risk carried by the Portuguese will resolve the tie.

However after so many disappointing tournaments, Switzerland are able to reaching the final eight in Qatar.

2. Shaqiri delivers for Switzerland underneath intense stress

Xherdan Shaqiri went into this recreation underneath enormous stress after angering Serbia along with his objective celebration throughout Switzerland’s 2-1 win at Russia 2018. On that event, the Chicago Hearth ahead, a Kosovo-born ethnic Albanian, provoked a political controversy by performing a two-headed eagle gesture (the image on the Albanian flag) along with his arms in entrance of the Serbia supporters.

The celebration was so controversial — tensions stay excessive between Serbia and Kosovo — that Shaqiri missed a Champions League conflict in opposition to Purple Star Belgrade in Serbia with former membership Liverpool as a result of considerations for his security.

When his identify was learn out earlier than the sport at Stadium 974, Shaqiri was loudly booed by the Serbia supporters and it was the identical each time he touched the ball.

However Shaqiri was in a position to clean out the off-field distractions to provide a match-winning efficiency for the Swiss, scoring one and taking part in a key position in two different objectives.

The 31-year-old scored Switzerland’s opener on the finish the place Serbia followers sat, and he celebrated in entrance of them by placing his finger to his lips after which pointing to the identify on the again of his shirt.

Shaqiri was clearly highly-motivated to win this recreation and safe qualification for his adopted house nation, however after a heated row with the Serbia substitutes in the course of the second-half, he was substituted by Yakin.

On an emotional and tense evening, nonetheless, Shaqiri was in a position to maintain his head in tough circumstances.

3. Serbia disappoint but once more

Serbia has persistently produced a few of Europe’s most gifted gamers, with a lot of them performing within the continent’s prime leagues, however as soon as once more, they’ve under-performed at a World Cup and crash out on the group stage.

Apart from Fulham ahead Aleksandar Mitrovic, who scored three objectives in Qatar, Dragan Stojkovic’s Serbian squad have did not ship.

For the reason that break-up of Yugoslavia within the Nineties, Serbia have made it to 4 World Cups and have did not progress to the knock-out rounds on every event.

However this time, in a gaggle with on Brazil as apparent qualifiers, Serbia misplaced twice and drew with Cameroon.

Prime gamers reminiscent of Dusan Vlahovic, Dusan Tadic, Luka Jovic and Mitrovic ought to have given Serbia greater than sufficient to get out of their group.

However regardless of taking the lead in opposition to Switzerland with objectives from Mitrovic and Vlahovic, Serbia could not maintain on for the win which might have taken them by way of and their defeat meant they completed backside of the group.

Participant scores

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

Finest and worst performers

BEST: Aleksandar Mitrovic, Serbia

The Serbia ahead scored a shocking header after which created a objective for teammate Dusan Vlahovic. Serbia have had a poor event, however Mitrovic has been glorious.

WORST: Strahinja Pavlovic, Serbia

The Serbia defender made some courageous blocks, however his focus and positioning have been so poor that Switzerland frequently focused him they usually scored objectives from his errors.

Highlights and notable moments

With a spot within the World Cup knockout spherical on the road, the match was a back-and-forth affair, with Xherdan Shaqiri placing Switzerland forward first within the twentieth minute.

However it solely took six minutes for Serbia to punch again and equalise by way of Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Not lengthy after, Dusan Vlahovic struck once more for Serbia to provide them the lead.

However it was short-lived as Switzerland acquired behind the Serbian again line in transition and Breel Embolo equalised.

After taking the lead after which falling behind, Switzerland discovered their approach again on prime when it counted, with Remo Freuler scoring the game-winner within the forty eighth minute.

Nonetheless, this match could also be remembered for simply how tense it was as a lot as for its many splendid objectives.

Halfway by way of the second half, Serbia gamers have been satisfied that they had earned a penalty, which the referee waved off, however the gamers weren’t having it and began to scuffle with Swiss gamers a bit.

After the match: What the gamers and managers mentioned

Test again shortly…

Key stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Info)

  • Xherdan Shaqiri scored his fifth World Cup objective, second-most for Switzerland behind Josef “Sepp” Hügi, who has scored six.

  • Xherdan Shaqiri: First Swiss participant to attain at three FIFA World Cups — he scored three objectives in 2014 and as soon as in 2018.

  • Three gamers have scored within the final three FIFA World Cups: Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Xherdan Shaqiri.

Up subsequent

Serbia: With their loss (and with Cameroon’s win), Friday’s match was the top of the highway for Serbia, who’re out of the World Cup.

Switzerland: The Swiss facet joins Brazil within the the highest two of Group G they usually advance to the spherical of 16 to face Portugal.

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