FIFA WC 2018: Switzerland Reach Last 16, To Face Sweden

Switzerland joined Brazil from Group E in the Round of 16. 

Updated
Football
2 min read
Switzerland’s Josip Drmic (second right) celebrates with teammates after scoring his side’s second goal during their Group E match against Costa Rica at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium on Wednesday.
i
Snapshot
  • Group E: Switzerland, Costa Rica play out a 2-2 draw
  • Switzerland advance to next round along with Brazil from the group.
  • Dzemaili & Drmic score for Switzerland.
  • For Costa Rica, Waston was on target while Sommer scores an own goal

Switzerland kept politics off the field and Costa Rica broke their World Cup duck in a thrilling 2-2 draw on Wednesday that saw the Europeans through to the next round of the World Cup where they will face Sweden.

Pre-match attention had focussed on Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri's politicised "eagle" celebrations in their last game, and Costa Rica being the only team without a tournament goal.

But this time, the Swiss kept their focus purely on their game and took a 31st minute lead when forward Blerim Dzemaili blasted past Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas from close range following a nod down from Breel Embolo.

Already-eliminated Costa Rica twice hit the woodwork in a frustrating opening 15 minutes of missed chances at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium on the banks of the river Volga.

But the Central Americans finally scored their first goal in Russia when defender Kendall Waston powered home Joel Campbell's corner in the 56th minute, triggering mass celebrations like they had won the trophy.

Costa Rica’s Bryan Ruiz (right) shoots a penalty kick to score an own goal by Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer during their Group E match at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium on Wednesday.
Costa Rica’s Bryan Ruiz (right) shoots a penalty kick to score an own goal by Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer during their Group E match at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium on Wednesday.
(Photo: AP)

Swiss substitute Josip Drmic drilled home his team's second in the 88th minute, before Bryan Ruiz struck a stoppage time penalty that hit the crossbar and went in off goalkeeper Yann Sommer's back.

There was a sour note for the Swiss, however, when captain Stephan Lichtsteiner, who supplied the cross for their first goal, took a second yellow card, meaning he will miss the knockout clash with Sweden on Tuesday in St Petersburg.

Despite their joy at scoring, Costa Rica's tournament has overall been a disappointment for their legions of red-clad fans and a far cry from their glorious 2014 run to the quarter-finals when they lost on a penalty shootout.

Switzerland, driven on by the inventive Shaqiri, ended Group E as runners-up to Brazil, who beat Serbia 2-0 to top the group.

Both sides could have won a free-flowing and open-ended game in Nizhny Novgorod, with a flurry of late chances.

(For complete FIFA World Cup 2018 coverage, click here to visit our special WC page.)

Liked this story? We'll send you more. Subscribe to The Quint's newsletter and get selected stories delivered to your inbox every day. Click to get started.

The Quint is available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, click to join.

Published: 
Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!