Sweden have earned a place in the quarter-finals of the World Cup with a hard-earned 1-0 victory over Switzerland in Tuesday’s clash in St Petersburg.
After a goalless first half, a deflected effort from Emil Forsberg got the job done for Sweden, who reach the last eight of this tournament for just the second time since 1958.
Sweden should have gone ahead moments later as Ekdal was found at the back post but the midfielder sent a volley from no more than eight yards harmlessly over Sommer’s bar.
After the restart, Sweden continued to show the greater threat in the final third but they wasted another opening when Ola Toivonen volleyed over the crossbar after a knockdown inside of the area.
The match quickly became one-paced with both teams seemingly wary about conceding the opening goal, but Sweden found a way to break the deadlock midway through the second half through Forsberg, whose shot from the edge of the box was deflected into the top corner by Manuel Akanji.
The opener forced Switzerland to show more ambition in the final third but as the game entered the final quarter-of-an-hour, Vladimir Petkovic’s team were still looking to trouble Robin Olsen for the first time.
Substitute Breel Embolo was bringing an extra threat and the Schalke 04 attacker got up well to meet a corner, only for Forsberg to clear off the line with Olsen behind him.
Haris Seferovic forced Olsen into a save with a powerful header as three minutes of added time were signalled but in the final minute, Switzerland were reduced to 10 men as Lang was dismissed for a professional foul on Martin Olsson.
Toivonen saw the resulting set piece saved by Sommer but the referee blew his whistle as Sweden registered their third victory and clean sheet of the tournament.