Sweden booked their place in the quarter-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup with a 1-0 victory over Switzerland in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday afternoon. A goal from Emil Forsberg, with a huge helping hand from Manuel Akanji, taking the strike past Yann Sommer.
It was a match that was far from pretty on the eyes throughout the duration of the tie, however, the Swedes will not care as they managed to reach the last 8 – a stage that is well beyond their expectations before the start of the tournament, especially without Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Sweden will now look to cause another upset on Saturday when they take on England for a place in the World Cup semi-final, however, their players will need to be much better than they were against Switzerland.
Here’s how they were rated:
Robin Olsen – 7: The Swedish goalkeeper, in truth, was hardly worked throughout the game. However, he made the saves he needed to make and kept his fifth clean sheet in six appearances.
Mikael Lustig – 6: The right-back did not have the best game of his career and will now miss the match against England after picking up a needless yellow card. His passes and crosses hardly met his intended target and he needed to replaced late on with an injury.
Victor Lindelof – 7: The Manchester United defender had a solid game and was vital to why Sweden managed to keep a clean sheet once again. He found himself in the correct position almost all the time when the Swiss had a cross and managed to clear them with minimal fuss.
Andreas Granqvist – 8: The captain shone for the Swedes during the tie and there looked to be no danger that he would be beaten in the air on Tuesday afternoon. The tall defender won the balls he went up for and made life difficult for the Swiss attackers.
Ludwig Augustinsson – 6: The full-back hardly threatened going forward, something that he does so effectively for Werder Bremen so well in Germany, He did not have to do too much defensively as Xherdan Shaqiri and co. found it difficult to create any chances down the right-hand side.
Embed from Getty Images
Viktor Claesson – 6: Played an important role towards the end of the game as he dug in defensively to ensure the Swedes protected their one-goal lead, although he had a relatively quiet game.
Gustav Svensson – 6: Given his chance to shine following the suspension of Seb Larsson, the midfielder put in a solid display by working hard for the team, however, is likely to be replaced when they face in England in the next round.
Albin Ekdal – 7: Guilty of wasting Sweden’s best chance of the game in the first-half, when he blasted a Lustig cross over the bar, however, he was reliable as ever when in control of possession.
Emil Forsberg – 8: He managed to finally break the Swiss’ resistance and scored the only goal of the game with a huge piece of luck. He looked lively throughout the game and in truth, he appeared to be the only man that looked like making a real attacking difference.
Embed from Getty Images
Marcus Berg – 5: Had a poor first-half as he struggled to find his shooting boots and blazed a ball high and wide when he had an opportunity to open the scoring. He was a nuisance for the Swiss defenders in the air from set pieces, however, it will be a game he will want to forget for performance reasons.
Ola Toivonen – 6: Made very little impact on the game despite creating the chance for Forsberg that led to the goal. The 32-year-old decided to spend the majority of his second-half defending after realising how important their one-goal lead was to be.
Martin Olsson – 7: His pace was a concern for the Swiss defence and it showed in the final moments of the game when he got in behind on the counter-attack and was brought down by Michael Lang – which saw the defender sent off.
Emil Krafth – 6: The defender helped to take some of the pressure off of the defence when he came on and looked to carry it forward as often as he could.
Isaac Kiese Thelin – N/A: Only managed to play eight minutes as he was introduced during the end of the game when Lustig needed to come off.