Sweden edged out their European counterpart, Switzerland in the FIFA World Cup Round of 16 match played in Saint Petersburg Stadium to qualify for the quarterfinal.
Tragedy struck for Switzerland when Emil Forsberg effort deflected and sealed victory for Sweden.
Sweden reached the last eight for the first time since the 1994 World Cup hosted by the United States of America.
A cagey encounter from the outset, Sweden fell back on their tried and tested formula: sit deep, defend solidly and strike on the counter-attack.
As such, Switzerland were the more active influence in the game when it came to possession, but the reactive approach from Janne Andersson’s side proved the more fertile.
Chances were limited, but the better of them fell at Swedish feet.
In something of a war of attrition, as time progressed glimpses of a potential pivotal moment began to shine through, with only poor finishing and good fortune snuffing them out.
However, it was fortune that eventually brought about the winner.
Forsberg was given far too much space at the edge of the box and – having failed to live up to his pre-tournament billing as Sweden’s star attraction – saw his effort deflect wildly off Manuel Akanji into the top corner, sending them into the last eight.
The dream continues for Sweden. It wasn’t the most confident of wins but they got the job done as Forsberg quietened his recent critics.
Gustav Svensson did an impressive job replacing one of the team’s key players in the suspended Sebastian Larsson, but a big blow for the Swedes was seeing one of their giants in defence, Mikael Lustig, leaving the pitch injured.
But, all in all, being in a quarter-final is an achievement the team can be very proud of.
Switzerland were not worse today than they have been, but they needed to take the game to Sweden.
Again and again they found themselves under pressure from counter-attacks.
Above all, they never got Forsberg under control – and that proved pivotal.
Switzerland has failed to make history against a beatable opponent, with their last memories of a quarter-final remaining from 1954.
BUDWEISER MAN OF THE MATCH
After drawing criticism back home, having fallen short of his high standards so far in Russia, Emil Forsberg proved his ability to decide big games as his strike was ultimately the difference.
Sweden will meet the winner of England versus Colombia match for the Quarter-final on July 7 in Samara.