Shaqiri stuns Serbia to give Swiss hope

Aleksandar Kolarov

Serbia v Switzerland

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.

The new Arsenal signing also had praise for former Premier League players Xherdan Shaqiri and Aleksandar Kolarov, praising his global team-mate for his impact against Serbia where he scored the late goal to seal the win.

Midfielder Valon Behrami grew up in what is now Kosovo, moving to Switzerland with his family in 1990 amid rising tensions between ethnic Albanians and Serbs.

Switzerland registered a vital 2-1 win over Serbia to enhance their chances of securing a round of 16 spot at the 2018 World Cup. You can see what I did, and it's just emotion, and I'm just happy to have scored the goal.

With the match heading for a 1-1 draw, Xherdan Shaqiri raced through on goal in the closing stages of the match and squeezed home a decisive victor, leaving the Swiss just one win away - against a fragile Costa Rica side - from the knock-out stages.

Kosovo gained independence from Serbia in 2008, however, Serbia still reject this. I spoke to the father of one of our players who is Albanian, and he told me about this history. "We know everything about Switzerland", stated their head coach Mladen Krstajic after their first match, which was also his first competitive game in charge of the side. Sprinting clear of the Serbian defence as injury time approached, Shaqiri planted the ball beneath the advancing Stojkovic to move his side into second place in the pool.

And Serbia head coach Mladen Krstajic is braced for a hard encounter, telling Swiss newspaper Blick: "They are very strong!"

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An Aleksandar Mitrovic header forced a smart save from Swiss keeper Yann Sommer after four minutes.

But the similarities between the two Balkan nations fell by the wayside, along with Serbia's tactical cohesion, when Swiss coach Vladimir Petkovic brought on fresh legs to stretch the game.

Unlike Croatia, who had erected a "cage" for Lionel Messi on the inside-right area of midfield, Serbia's central players had to deal with a much more varied threat.

Lazio's highly rated Sergej Milinkovic-Savic fizzed a right-footed shot narrowly wide of Sommer's right post on 15 minutes, and Mitrovic nearly scored with a spectacular bicycle kick that went the same way minutes later.

It was a game of two halves as Switzerland came out as a completely different team at half time to claw back a one goal deficit to get the win in a thriller of a game.

But it was Stoke City winger Shaqiri who struck the decisive blow, breaking through Serbia's offside trap to slot home calmly as the 90 minutes wound down.

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