Swiss coach unimpressed with celebrations in win over Serbia

Elena Summers
June 23, 2018

For 47 minutes, Serbia had one foot in the last 16, playing a muscular yet intelligent football that was immediately reminiscent of Croatia's 3-0 win over Argentina the night before.

Xhaka curled the ball through traffic to tie the game at 1-1, and Ivanovic suddenly became a very unpopular man on social media.

And while his opening goal in the first match against Costa Rica was a sheer delight, the Serbs could not build on that emphatic clean sheet and victory against the Central Americans.

Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic apparently does not want to discuss the issue of tensions linked to Swiss players with Kosovo Albanian heritage ahead of the World Cup match against Serbia.

Serbia must beat Brazil in their final game to qualify without relying on the result of the Swiss game against Costa Rica, who are eliminated after losing their first two games.

"In football you have always emotions and you can see what I did and it's just emotion", he said in reference to his controversial celebration. "You can see what I did and I think it's just emotion". Then Swiss midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri, who was born in Kosovo, scored the winning goal in the 90th minute of the game on a breakaway pass that led him charging down the field. I spoke to the father of one of our players who is Albanian, and he told me about this history. "I did it, and we don't have to speak about this".

Kosovo gained independence from Serbia in 2008, however, Serbia still reject this.

Ahead of the grudge match, Serbian media had reported that FIFA had asked the Swiss federation to ban Kosova or "Greater Albania" flags, but the Swiss denied the story as baseless.

Xhaka was nearly upstaged by Shaqiri who clipped the crossbar with a curling, dipping shot from the unlikeliest of angles and the match turned into a pulsating end-to-end affair which was brilliantly settled by Shaqiri. "It's a wonderful atmosphere and a positive experience and that's what football should be about".

Three quick thoughts on in Switzerland's 2-1 come-from-behind win over Serbia in World Cup Group E play at the Kaliningrad Stadium.

Head coach Mladen Krstajic is not expected to make major changes but he could hand winger Filip Kostic a start.

Serbia almost had their second just before the half but Dusko Tosic's diving header from point-blank range skidded off his head to Nemanja Matic who couldn't react fast enough to finish the chance.

Serbia had chances to score more before halftime. Switzerland were terrific against Brazil and deserved their point - what they lack up front they more than make up for in the unyielding qualities of their midfield.

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