DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Xherdan Shaqiri took off because the ball hit the again of the online.
It was no shock the place he went when he scored the primary objective in Switzerland’s 3-2 win over Serbia on Friday, sending his staff by to the spherical of 16 on the World Cup for the third consecutive match.
Born in Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008, Shaqiri ran straight to opposition followers to have a good time — placing a finger to his lips after earlier being jeered by that part of the gang.
The sport was solely 20 minutes lengthy and the strain was palpable.
“You’ll be able to hear my voice, it is hoarse, it was a really emotional sport,” stated Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka. “That is a part of soccer. The sport was truthful sufficient. We wished to concentrate on soccer. Now we have carried out this and we’ve got taken this primary step and are actually within the spherical of 16. We’re proud.”
Most significantly for Switzerland, who completed second in Group G and certified for the knockout phases, will face Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo on the Lucelle Stadium subsequent Tuesday.
However the rigidity surrounding this specific match all the time threatened to blow up.
The nations met within the group stage on the final World Cup in 2018, leading to a Swiss victory, however Shaqiri and Xhaka had been penalized for celebrating by making hand gestures representing Albania’s nationwide eagle image.
Xhaka and Shaqiri have Albanian heritage with hyperlinks to Kosovo.
Serbia was additionally fined and warned by FIFA over the “show of discriminatory banners and messages” by supporters.
An announcement was made at Stadium 974 throughout Friday’s match that seemed to be in reference to chants from Serbian followers. FIFA wouldn’t say what was introduced after the match.
“I did not hear that. Actually, I did not hear,” Serbia coach Dragan Stojkovic stated of the chants. “I used to be concentrating on the sport.”
Rather a lot occurred on the sphere after half-time, with Remo Frühler’s successful objective and loads of banter between the gamers.
“To begin with, I need to benefit from the second,” Switzerland coach Murat Yakin stated after being requested about his gamers’ conduct throughout a tense match. “It value us loads of power and emotion. We have been by lots. “
A number of Serbian substitutes got here on within the second half when Aleksandar Mitrovic had a penalty attraction turned down. Zaka was on the middle of a heated brawl late within the sport.
“Typically, , stress and possibly dangerous phrases create uncomfortable conduct,” Stojkovic stated. “Nevertheless it’s nothing particular. It is regular for a sport like this.”
Shaqiri scored the opening objective after which performed a key position within the victory. He performed a ball into the penalty field for Ruben Vargas, who beat Freuler behind for the objective.
Regardless of these targets, Shaqiri was not glad instead within the 69th minute. He hit the aspect of the dugout together with his elbow earlier than sitting on the bench.
“Nobody likes to vary,” Yakin stated. “A part of my accountability is to guard the gamers. He scored a objective and had a fantastic help as effectively. He was very current and supported his teammates and made a distinction. “
Targets from Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dusan Vlahovic gave Serbia the lead within the first half, however Briel Embolo equalized earlier than half-time.
Needing a win to safe a spot within the knockout phases after beating Cameroon and shedding their opening two video games to Brazil, Switzerland reached the spherical of 16 on the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and once more in Russia 4 years later. Each matches had been misplaced 1-0 to Argentina and Sweden respectively.
Towards Portugal, the Swiss will look to achieve the quarter-finals for the primary time since internet hosting the match in 1954.
Argentine referee Fernando Rapalini officiated Friday’s match at Stadium 974. He was the referee for Switzerland’s penalty shootout victory over World Cup winners France within the spherical of 16 ultimately yr’s European Championship.
Switzerland goalkeepers Yann Sommer and Philipp Cohen in addition to defender Nico Elvedi had been all unavailable because of sickness.
Mitrovic prolonged his report as Serbia’s main scorer together with his 52nd worldwide objective.
James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson
AP World Cup Protection: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports