Switzerland booked their passage to the World Cup round of 16 as they came from a goal down to beat Serbia 2-1 at the Kaliningrad Stadium on Friday.
- Serbia 1 Switzerland 2
- Mitrovic (5′) opens scoring with header
- Xhaka (53′) equalises with screamer
- Shaqiri (90′) completes comeback win
Aleksandar Mitrovic had given the White Eagles an early lead, which they took into the break. But a poor second-half display allowed the Swiss back into the game with strikes from Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri inspiring a stirring comeback victory – the first of the tournament.
Serbia went in search of all three points to secure qualification to the knockout stages for the very first time in their history, having beaten Costa Rica in the opening round.
They went close in the fourth minute when Milinkovic-Savic sent in a cross that was met by Mitrovic, only for Yann Sommer to deny the striker with a brilliant save.
Mitrovic was not to be denied, however, as he steered a header into the left corner of the net beyond the outstretched palm of Sommer a minute later to break the deadlock.
Die Nati almost leveled matters on the half-hour mark. Haris Seferovic struck a first-time volley from just eight yards out that Vladimir Stojkovic saved with his fingertips, after a fine delivery from Blerim Dzemaili to set him up.
Vladimir Petkovic’s side needed just eight minutes after the break to restore parity. Shaqiri saw his effort blocked but Xhaka latched onto the rebound and unleashed a thunderous drive from 25 yards out that flew past Stojkovic.
Switzerland then went close to a winner five minutes from time. Breel Embolo sent a clever knockdown into the path of Mario Gavranovic, who shot straight at Stojkovic.
Shaqiri grabbed all three points in the last minute of the game. The Swiss turned defence into attack in a heartbeat as Gavranovic found Shaqiri up the pitch and the winger ran through on goal to slot a neat finish under Stojkovic.