As It Happened: Switzerland make the knockout stages despite last-gasp Costa Rica penalty
Source | VAVEL.

As It Happened: Switzerland make the knockout stages despite last-gasp Costa Rica penalty

Conor de Smith
SwitzerlandSommer; Lichtsteiner, Schar, Akanji, Rodriguez; Behrami (Zakaria, min. 60), Xhaka; Shaqiri (Lang, min. 81), Dzemaili, Embolo; Gavranovic (Drmic, min. 69).
Costa RicaNavas; Gamboa (Smith, min. 90), Acosta, Waston, Gonzalez, Oviedo; Ruiz, Colindres (Wallace, min. 81), Borges, Guzman (Azofeifa, min. 90); Campbell.
SCORE1-0, min. 31, Dzemaili. 1-1, min. 56, Waston. 2-1, min. 88, Drmic. 2-2, min. 90, Sommer (OG).
REFEREEClement Turpin (FRA). Booked: Gamboa (min. 11), Campbell (min. 29), Lichtsteiner (min. 37), Zakaria (min. 75), Schar (min. 83), Waston (min. 90).
INCIDENTSSwitzerland and Costa Rica go head-to-head at the World Cup with the former hoping to qualify for the Round of 16. The match is being played at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.
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FULL-TIME: Thank you for choosing to follow Switzerland's 2-2 draw with Costa Rica with VAVEL! Make sure to stick around for our match report and we hope to see you again soon! I've been Conor de Smith - goodnight.

FULL-TIME: Overall, this was another largely entertaining game of World Cup football that deservedly ended level. Costa Rica were very bright throughout and Switzerland got the job done despite two last-gasp penalty decisions.

FULL-TIME: The 2-2 draw and a 2-0 win for Brazil means Switzerland finish second in Group E. They will face Sweden on Tuesday in the last 16.

FULL-TIME: Switzerland 2-2 Costa Rica! Drama here right at the end means the two could not be separated! Dzemaili opened the scoring before Waston equalised in the second half. Drmic looked to have given Switzerland another last-gasp win but a Sommer own-goal meant the points would be shared.

90' After Campbell was brought down, Bryan Ruiz stepped up and (sort of) converts from the penalty area! Ruiz strikes the bar but the ball deflects off Sommer and into the net! I don't think it will be given to Ruiz on his World Cup farewell.


90' The referee has given another penalty to Costa Rica! Campell goes down after a Zakaria challenge and the French official has given it!

90' Four minutes added time!

90' The referee's original decision has been overturned by VAR after Ruiz was adjudged to be offside. The former Fulham man went down in the box but it didn't look like there was an awful lot of contact anyway!

89' The referee has pointed to the spot for Costa Rica! Bryan Ruiz goes down in the box. It has gone to VAR after a suspicious offside was not given...

88' Josip Drmic makes a huge statement with a fine finish! A low cross from Zakaria found its way to Drmic after Acosta lost his footing. Drmic kept his effort down and directed it into the corner!


81' Rodney Wallace of New York City FC has just come on. Wallace said his DJ name would be DJ Walley in a recent interview. He also said he would rather fight an alligator than a bear. I would need to know whether the fight would be taking place in water or on land before I could give my take.

78' Just as I finish typing my last sentence, Drmic hits the bar! Embolo beats Waston far too easily out wide and the following cross finds the substitute striker. Drmic's header is a great and powerful one, but cannons off the crossbar! That's the luck of a man who scored just four goals last season.

77' The match has been very lacklustre of late and is starting to peter out in this western pocket of Russia. Switzerland are having more of the ball and look most likely for now.

72' Waston's towering header was Costa Rica's first goal in the World Cup in 424 minutes of play - last scoring against Greece in the last 16 back in 2014. The celebrations suggest that they enjoyed it!

69' Another worrying sign for Switzerland from a corner as Sommer collides with his own team-mate and misses the ball completely. Fortunately for the 29-year-old, nobody in white was present to convert.

64' It is a real shame that we did not see this Costa Rica against Serbia in their opening game. They have played with such energy and intent tonight without sacrificing too much of the defensive solidarity that they pride themselves on. Starting Campbell and Colindres have helped.

59' That goal, currently, doesn't change an awful lot for the Swiss who will still finish in second with a draw or even a defeat to Costa Rica if Brazil maintain their winning position.

56' Costa Rica finally get off the mark at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and they thoroughly deserve to be level. Kendall Waston shoves Akanji aside as Joel Campbell delivers a corner and the defender guides the header into the net!


54' You can also follow Brazil's clash with Serbia on VAVEL! The Brazilians are still 1-0 up courtesy of a Paulinho chip. Follow along here.

51' Good defending from Gonzalez who puts the ball out for a corner after it looked as if Embolo would be through on goal. Embolo gets another chance moments later as Shaqiri expertly finds the youngster with a perfectly-weighted pass.

48' Chance for Campbell! The ball is crossed in and is intelligently left by Waston to allow Campbell the space to fire a volley at goal. The winger, who spent last season with Real Betis, seemed to rush the shot and sliced it well wide.

KICK-OFF: Costa Rica get us back underway! The Swiss should improve after their worst half of the tournament thus far. They seemed the lack any creativity or ideas in midfield, but the one-goal cushion might give them more freedom to play more fluidly.

HALF-TIME: Anyone call for a low-quality Daniel Colindres goal compilation with insufferable music? Not sure if the 33-year-old can really claim number nine, though. 

HALF-TIME: Nice stat courtesy of Opta now. Switzerland have now scored at least once in six of their last seven World Cup games - as many as their previous 15 combined.

HALF-TIME: In the other game in Group E, Brazil are leading Serbia 1-0 due to a Paulinho goal after 30 minutes. This means the Brazilians top the group and Switzerland would face Sweden in the last 16. 

HALF-TIME: Costa Rica managed four shots on target in the first-half - more than their first two games combined. Manager Oscar Ramirez will feel aggrieved that none have beaten Sommer, or the woodwork, but the players can feel happy with their display. 

HALF-TIME: Switzerland 1-0 Costa Rica. The Costa Ricans had all the early opportunities but the Swiss go into the interval ahead courtesy of a Blerim Dzemaili strike at the 30-minute mark. 

42' Costa Rica break and it was a two-on-two situation at first. Campbell works the ball out wide to Colindres, who checks back and attempts to square it to Borges but it just evades him. This was much needed by Los Ticos who had faded after they went behind.

37' Oh dear! Lichtsteiner gets a yellow and will, therefore, miss his country's last 16 tie if they get there. Big blow for both parties. The resulting free-kick just evades a fully-stretched Waston.

31' Switzerland grab a crucial goal against the run of play! A brilliant cross from captain Lichtsteiner was brilliantly nodded down by Embolo at the far post to the onrushing Blerim Dzemaili, who lashes the ball into the net! Unfair on the Costa Ricans but the Swiss won't mind - they currently top the group.


29' Joel Campbell receives a yellow card from the French referee for catching Akanji in the face with a flailing arm. Not intentional at all which is why the Arsenal man continues to argue with Turpin.

24' Colindres and Campbell are tormenting this Swiss back four. The duo combine again to put the former through on goal but his effort is blocked by Akanji.

20' Colindres is proving to be a real threat but is being matched every time by Sommer in goal. The 33-year-old drills a shot low with his left foot but Sommer is equal to it as he pushes it past the far post with his fingertips. The Borussia Mönchengladbach 'keeper is having a great World Cup so far!

18' As it stands, Switzerland are going through in second place but tonight is hardly going to plan. The Swiss have been severely off the pace in the opening exchanges of this encounter and can count themselves lucky that they do not find themselves behind! 

14' Cristian Gamboa is down after Navas forcefully comes to punch the ball, which ends up near the halfway line! Great goalkeeping from the Real Madrid shot-stopper and his defender is now back to his feet.

10' Costa Rica look inspired and dangerous in attack! Colindres has just come inches away from opening the scoring as his effort from the left clatters the crossbar and onto the line! 

6' A flurry of activity in the Switzerland area has forced Sommer into two great saves to keep his side on level terms. Campbell firstly fizzed a shot only to see it batted away before the goalkeeper denies Borges's downward header with one of the saves of the tournament.

5' Costa Rica get themselves forward for the first time. Joel Campbell weaves past Rodriguez but the ball in is a poor one and is subsequently cleared.

2' Shaqiri drives a low cross into the area behind Costa Rica's defensive line. The ball comes fast at Gavranovic and he is unable to direct it at Keylor Navas' goal.

1' Already the first foul of the evening as Embolo is brought down in the final third! The young forward will be looking to impress on his first start of the World Cup. 

KICK-OFF: Switzerland, in their all-red strip, get the game underway in the beautiful Nizhny Novgorod. Costa Rice are in white.

The two teams line up for the national anthems after the familiar sound of Seven Nations Army welcomes them onto the pitch. Kick-off just moments away now and you can follow all the action here on VAVEL!

We mentioned that Costa Rica had real players of experience within their ranks. Well, six of the Costa Rican squad played in the country's last meeting with Switzerland (June 2010). They are Bryan Ruiz, Marco Urena, David Guzman, Christian Bolanos, Randall Azofeifa and Keylor Navas

Costa Rica XI to face Switzerland (5-4-1) - Navas; Gamboa, Acosta, Waston, Gonzalez, Oviedo; Ruiz, Colindres, Borges, Guzman; Campbell.

Switzerland XI to face Costa Rica (4-2-3-1) - Sommer; Lichtsteiner, Schar, Akanji, Rodriguez; Behrami, Xhaka; Shaqiri, Dzemaili, Embolo; Gavranovic.

Costa Rica have few players of serious pedigree but, in goal, they harbour the brilliant Keylor Navas. The Real Madrid goalkeeper is clearly the country's star man and often comes to his team's rescue. Arsenal's Joel Campbell and Bryan Ruiz can also produce moments of brilliance. Marcos Urena and Christian Bolanos were top scorers in qualifying.

In terms of star men, Switzerland have had a number of standout players that have performed well in their opening two games. Xhaka and Shaqiri boast quality with both producing moments of magic against SerbiaValon Behrami has also proved tremendously instrumental and managed to keep Neymar quiet when they faced Brazil.

This encounter will be officiated by Frenchman Clement Turpin. The 36-year-old officiated two games at Euro 2016. The FFF have awarded Turpin the "French Referee of the Year" award on four occasions. He took charge of Uruguay's 1-0 win over Saudi Arabia earlier in the competition and produced no cards.

Germany are out! Germany are out of the World Cup at the group stage - the first time we have seen this in living memory! Germany have scored with only two of their 72 shots at the 2018 World Cup (3%), only Costa Rica (0 goals) have a lower shot conversion rate.

Costa Rica’s pacey full-back Cristian Gamboa has said: “It’s good to have the experience, a World Cup is about doing your best and I think we’ve brought young and experienced players. We’ve done a good job. When you get results everything is fine but when you don’t people start questioning things, but I’m happy with what the group has done here.”

Gelson Fernandes - matchwinner against Spain in South Africa - has said: “This team is an improvement on the first squad that I was involved in, eight years ago in South Africa. More quality and more talent.

"We’re also a team built in 2011 with new players that came into their own in 2014-15 so we have experienced a lot together at this point, and that’s one of the strengths of the squad. We are united, we’ve got great solidarity, it helps that we’ve been together for a long time.”

Three Switzerland players attracted attention for different reasons in their last outing against Serbia when Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri and Stephan Lichtsteiner produced a 'double-headed eagle gesture' celebration which has connotations with Albania. Xhaka and Shaqiri were fined 10,000 Swiss francs (£7,632) and Lichtsteiner was also fined (£3,816).

As previously mentioned, Costa Rica are already out of the tournament. Los Ticos are an experienced team and, therefore, this could be the last opportunity to play on the world stage. Bryan Ruiz, now 33 in August, Tweeted that he will play as if this is his last World Cup game.

Although a draw is all they need to qualify for the Round of 16, the Swiss will be going for the win. They have had problems going forward in recent games, and manager Petkovic looks set to leave out Haris Seferovic for the first time this tournament. Mario Gavranovic or Breel Embolo will step in as his replacement. Their aim will be to score early and to take the initiative.

World Cup Group E Live Blog Stream Score

In today’s earlier two matches, South Korea are facing struggling Germany and Mexico taking on Sweden in Group F. The runners-up of this group will face the winners of Group E while the winners of Group F will face the runners-up in Group E. This could lead to Brazil and Germany meeting in the next round as well as Mexico and Switzerland. Got it?

This game will be played at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in, you guessed it, Nizhny Novgorod. The stadium has a 45,000 capacity and its design is inspired by aspects of nature in the Volga region - water and wind. It has hosted three previous games and will host two knock-out matches.

Despite their strong showing at Brazil 2014, Costa Rica have now gone five matches without a win at the World Cup and 368 minutes without scoring, their longest goal drought in the tournament’s history. Their defensive solidarity is not the issue for this small nation, their effectiveness in the final third has resulted in their downfall.

While Costa Rica have already been eliminated, they should not be taken lightly. Los Ticos will be adamant to avoid going home empty-handed after a mesmeric run to the semi-finals of the competition in 2014. They were undone by a suburb Kolarov free-kick against Serbia and stayed firm right until the 91st minute when they faced Brazil.

Costa Rica's record against European opposition at World Cups is fairly balanced, with three victories, four draws and three defeats. They have beaten Scotland (Obviously), Italy and Sweden. They have also drawn to England (Obviously) and the Netherlands, but couldn’t get the better of the Germans.

Switzerland have history on their side too. On each of the two previous occasions that the teams have met, the Europeans have emerged victorious. In actual fact, Switzerland have never lost to a CONCACAF nation at the world’s premier tournament.

The Swiss find themselves with four points after two games following outstanding performances against favourites Brazil and an impressive Serbian side. A robust display against the Brazilians in their opening game saw Steven Zuber cancel out Philippe Coutinho’s stunning effort. Vladimir Petković’s team had to come behind again against Serbia five days later as Shaqiri and Xhaka sealed the victory.

Brazil will go through if they avoid defeat against Serbia; similarly, if Switzerland beat or draw with Costa Rica, they will go through. Serbia will go through if they beat Brazil, In that event, Brazil would only be saved if Switzerland lost to Costa Rica and there wasn't a big goal swing against them. All very tight.

Switzerland vs Costa Rica Live

Good evening everyone and welcome to VAVEL UK's live minute-by-minute commentary of tonight's World Cup clash between Switzerland and Costa Rica, as the Swiss battle for progression from Group E. I'm Conor de Smith and I'll be taking you through events as they occur, kick-off is set for 7PM UK time so keep with us as we build up to the game!


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