Thanks to Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri, the “Nati” won against Serbia (2-1), joining Brazil at the head of Group E and getting closer to qualifying for the second round of the World Cup-2018, on Friday in Kaliningrad.
Led to the score for nearly an hour by the talented team from Serbia, which could have already validated its ticket to the 8th finals in case of Success, the “Nati” has managed to reverse the situation thanks to its teams Xhaka (52nd), born in Switzerland of kosovar family, and Shaqiri (90th), born in Kosovo.
With this result, Switzerland (2, 4 points) passed Serbia (3, 3 points), while Brazil, winner earlier against Costa Rica (2-0), took the lead in Group E thanks to a better goal difference. The Brazil-Serbia duel next Wednesday in Moscow will have everything of a “final”, while Switzerland will have to impose itself against “Ticos” already eliminated to hope to win the first place.
If the two native breeders of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Vladimir Petkovic for Switzerland and Mladen Krstajic for Serbia, refused to accept the idea of a “derby” between the two countries, because of the numerous players of Balkan origin in the Swiss ranks, on the field in any case, it seemed.
It was enough to see Mitrovic taunting the “Kosovar” Shaqiri after a failed “comma”, or the powerful whistles of a stadium acquired from Serbia on each of his shots, to realize this.
And after just five minutes of play, the tens of thousands of Serbian fans present in Kaliningrad Stadium were able to bicker and exult. After having seen his first attempt rejected by Sommer (4th), Mitrovic, perfectly served by Tadic in the surface, did not miss his second chance to open the score (5th).
Shaqiri delivers the’Nati’
Very close to scoring the 2-0 goal on corner, with a Tosic in a hurry to catapult the ball into the net (44′), or on an incredible half-volley from Tadic (45′), The Young Serbian team finally saw its inexperience punished by the redoubtable Swiss side.
Because despite the “Serbija, Rossiya”, the banners in his favor like this “Serbia welcome home”, and the many failures of the “Macedonian” Blerim Dzemaili in the first period (11th, 19th, 34th), the “Nati” managed to get back in the game… thanks to two of his three players from Kosovo.
After an unsuccessful attempt by Kolarov at Shaqiri, Xhaka followed the ball well into Stojkovic’s small net with a brilliant shot from the left (52′).
Hot and hot, Shaqiri nearly scored one of the most beautiful goals of the competition, as at Euro-2016, with a pivot shot in an impossible angle that hit the Serbian doorman’s crossbar (58′).
In a one-way finish, Switzerland pushed to the end to make the decision but the Serbian rearguard held on. To the fantastic escape of Shaqiri.
At the end of a 30-metre race, the Swiss feu-follet did not tremble to score the victory goal at the last minute of regulation time (90′). And shine his home country in a world he doesn’t fight… in the face of his greatest sporting enemy.