Switzerland grabbed the final spot of the 2022 World Cup knockout phase on Friday with a win over Serbia. The European team entered the day holding the second spot of Group G, as Brazil already locked up a place in the next phase. Serbia, needing a win to advance in the competition, did not make it easy for the Swiss squad.
Xerdan Shaqiri, Breel Embolo and Remo Freuler were on the scoresheet on the night as Switzerland beat Serbia, 3-2. There were two different lead changes in the massive match. Serbia fought back with two goals inside nine minutes, but couldn’t keep the Swiss out of goal in the end.
Switzerland and Serbia full of skirmishes
The game was feisty from start to finish. There were 31 totals fouls and 11 yellow cards handed out by the referee. Multiple clashes between players on both sides broke out throughout the duration of the fixture as well.
Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka was at the middle of the skirmishes a few times in the second half. The Swiss captain even received a yellow card for incidents involving two different Serbian players in added time.
These two teams have a bit of an interesting history together. Serbia and Switzerland also matched up in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The Swiss won this matchup as well.
However, the main talking point in that particular game was how Shaqiri and Xhaka celebrated their goals. Each formed an eagle with their hands and sticking out their tongues. This was to symbolize the flag of Albania, which both players have roots to. Serbia and Kosovo have had tension since the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s.
Brazil keeps top spot despite loss
Elsewhere in the group, Brazil ended up losing to Cameroon thanks to a goal by Vincent Aboubakar in the 92nd minute of the match. The defeat, however, ultimately did not mean much. The Brazilians still finished top of their group.
Switzerland will now face on Portugal in the knockout round on Tuesday. Brazil, on the other hand, play South Korea on Monday.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Xinhua
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