Switzerland vs Serbia was always going to be a game of fireworks – but we didn't expect the football to be quite so stunning.
Both Serbian goals were excellent in their own right but the goal of the game, surely, has to go to Nottingham Forest star Remo Freuler, after the midfielder broke into the box to cap off a gorgeous team move.
Freuler is the first Forest star to score at a World Cup since Pierre van Hooijdonk in 1998 – and though may have finished it but his team-mates should take some credit. Especially Ruben Vargas who provided the all-important (and oh-so-lovely) assist.
The flick backwards! 🤤Simply superb build-up play for the goal as Switzerland retake the lead 🇨🇭🇷🇸#ITVFootball | #FIFAWorldCup pic.twitter.com/ND0ytYYHgkDecember 2, 2022
Talk of political tension between the two sides dominated this one and the game didn’t disappoint in the opening exchanges. Serbian goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic made a quick double-save seconds into the match before midfielder Andrija Zivkovic hit the post – though typically, Xherdan Shaqiri was on hand to score, just as he was four years ago.
Former Stoke, Liverpool and Inter Milan star Shaqiri stunned the Serbians with a low drive – and chose not to reenact his controversial eagle-hand salute, instead holding a finger to his lips to silence the opposing fans whistling and booing him.
The game soon turned on its head. Fulham frontman Aleksandar Mitrovic – who just like Shaqiri, scored in this clash four years ago – scored a beautiful glancing header into the far corner of Kobel’s net after an excellent cross from Dusan Tadic. Just 10 minutes later, Dusan Vlahovic in his first start of the competition capitalised on a defensive error from the Swiss to roll the ball past Kobel to give Serbia an all-important lead, putting a finger to his lips, too.
Switzerland were back in the game before half-time. A Breel Embolo tap-in from a cross brought the game level before Remo Freuler capped off a stunning team move.
Barring a shock win from Cameroon against Brazil, the winner of Serbia and Switzerland will face Portugal in the last-16.
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