Shaqiri snatches victory for the Swiss
Posted: 22 June 2018 Time: 08:46 pm
Switzerland registered a vital 2-1 win over Serbia to enhance their chances of securing a round of 16 spot at the 2018 World Cup.
A dream start ensued for Serbia when Aleksandar Mitrovic headed home a cross from Dusan Tadic in the fifth minute.
Switzerland tried to hit back immediately, but a shot from Blerim Džemaili which went wide was the closest it came for them in the opening exchanges.
Serbia were making all the forays in and around the offensive third. A second goal almost came for Mitrovic after switching play with Nemanja Matic but Sommer quickly thwarted the threat.
On the stroke of halftime, Sergej Milinković-Savić set-up Tadic from a perfectly-placed position but the Southampton man failed to get his effort on target.
Hoping to turn the game on its head, Switzerland made a change at the start of the second half as Mario Gavranovic made his first World Cup appearance.
Stretching the Serbians inadvertently led to the leveler, as a cross-field ball found Xherdan Shaqiri but, after seeing his shot blocked away, it fell to Granit Xhaka, who rifled the ball beyond Vladimir Stojković in the 52nd minute.
With their tails up, the Swiss went close to taking the lead after trickery from Shaqiri out wide directed him to have a crack at Stojkovic, but his effort shaved the post.
Switzerland grew stronger in the latter phases, and Gavranovic nearly stole all the points but he failed to capitalise on a cut-back.
The comeback was completed in second-half injury-time as the Swiss turned defence to attack, with Shaqiri finishing off a counter-attacking move with a close-range finish in the 90th minute.
Switzerland saw off any late threat from Serbia to run out 2-1 winners and move up to second spot in Group D.