Switzerland has stormed through the group stages to proceed to the knockout stages of the Qatar World Cup after defeating Serbia 3-2 in their final group match on Friday in Stadium 974 – Ras Abu Aboud.
The match was swift for the Swiss side because they were under lesser pressure since they only needed a draw to qualify for the round of the 16. At the same time, Serbia had their lifelines depending on the results of the match; after having lost one match and drawn in another, they needed this victory.
They were almost equally matched on the statistical frontiers of shots, possessions, passes, etc. Serbia dominated on who had the tally of more yellow cards, though! But the most crucial stat as we know it is the goal tally, favouring the Swiss for the third time in back-to-back World Cups.
Xherdan Shakiri brought home an early lead for Switzerland in the 20th minute with a successful goal after the Serbian goalkeeper had deflected most of the attempts made until then. The celebrations did not last long because Serbia completely turned the game in the first half.
The Serbians took joy in how the scoresheet turned upside down with an equalizing goal from Aleksandar Mitrovic within the next five minutes in the 26th minute of the match. They obviously did not stop here and went on to turn the game in their favour with Dusan Vlahovic’s incredible goal in the 35th minute.
The entertainment and drama had just begun because the Swiss were not the ones to let Serbia get away with an easy victory. Breel Embolo equalized the match again right before halftime in the 44th minute with his stunning goal, piercing the Serbian defence to the back of the net.
Remo Freuler finally sealed the fates of both Switzerland and Serbia in the 48th minute into the second half after converting a superb assist by Embolo into a half-volley, which spectacularly went into the net and made the winning scoreline 3-2 in the Swiss’ favour.
With this, Switzerland has booked their tickets to the round of 16 as the runners-up of their group and are now all set to face Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal in the knockout stages, while Serbia’s one-way tickets are for their home.