Serbia dominated the first half with Aleksander Mitrovic and Dusan Tadic wreaking havoc among the Swiss defence. But the fact that they got just one goal out of that period of dominance went on to bite them in the second half. Switzerland slowly clawed their way back and Granit Xhaka’s screamer somewhat turned the tide. Switzerland started dominating possession and putting the Serbian defence under pressure. Xherdan Shaqiri then kept his calm in a one-on-one situation with the keeper and stroked the ball home to make Switzerland the first team to come from behind this World Cup. Serbia could have qualified had they won this match and they now have to win their last match to qualify now. That last match, is against Brazil.
FIFA World Cup 2018 Serbia vs Switzerland Highlights:
FULL TIME! Serbia 1-2 Switzerland
Switzerland are the first team to win a match after conceding first in this World Cup. A story of two halves with Serbia dominating the first and Switzerland doing the same in the second. Group E is now wide open and it will take a supercomputer to list out all the possibilities.
GOAL! Serbia 1-2 Switzerland (Shaqiri 90 mins)
Shaqiri one on one with then keeper and he keeps his cool to stroke it into goal. Like Xhaka, he also does the double eagle celebration. Certainly the biggest goal of his career. Switzerland are still in the race for the Round of 16 because of that.
Free-kick for Switzerland about 25 yards out, Rodriguez and Shaqiri standing over it. Rodriguez takes, it hits the wall and out for a corner.
Shaqiri with a turn on a coin to lose a defender and he unleashes a shot from more than 30 yards out. Moments later, Embolo plays in Gavranovic but his shot is saved by the keeper.
Shaqiri tries to make his way into the box and find space but is stopped by a defender. Later on, Ivanovic almost stabs it past his own goalkeeper but it goes out for a corner. Ivanovic raises his hands to apologise.
Riccardo Rodriguez is off the pitch to gets some blood cleaned from his face. He seems to be suggesting that it was caused by someone's elbow. Gavranovic seemed to have been played in and in lot of space but he was offside.
That could have and should have been a VAR moment. Tadic with a cross into the box and Mitrovic is obviously being held down by two defenders. Referee doesn't even consider it for a moment and Mitrovic asks for an explanation. Instead, he gets a stern talking to from the ref. Nonsense.
It's all Switzerland at the moment. How one goal can change a match. Granit Xhaka after scoring that goal, celebrated by making a double eagle sign which is mostly considered a symbol for Albania, a country that has historically fractious relations with Serbia. Xhaka is of Albanian and Kosovar heritage, not sure how happy the Serbians will be with that little gesture.
Shaqiri almost scores a goal that could have become the goal of the tournament. The Stoke City man (for now) takes the ball right side of the box and wheels around to take a rather audacious shot at the far post. The ball curls and hits the post on the way out. Switzerland on the ascendancy.
GOAL! XHAKA GOLAZZO!! Serbia 1-1 Switzerland (Xhaka 52 mins)
Switzerland try to piece together an attack but it roles out, Xhaka latches on to it first time and the ball takes a mean curl and beats the keeper to settle in the bottom corner. That is the kind of strike that wins you tournament. A true-blue golazzo.
Serbia start on the front foot but there are yet to be any chances on either side.
HALF TIME! Serbia 1-0 Switzerland
Mitrovic and Shaqiri arguing about something as they walk off the pitch. Mitrovic was the one who had expressed anger at Shaqiri's choice of boots - one of which has got a flag of Kosovo - before the start of this World Cup. But he has been brilliant in this first half and has been a constant threat. Serbia will take this any day of the week.
Mitrovic heads the ball down for Tadic outside the box. The Southampton man volleys it first time. A sensational effort that is just over the bar.
Tadic enters the box from the left and crosses it to Matic on the far side. Matic tries a pass across the face of goal that the Swiss keeper gets a hand to before it goes out. Ivanovic's long throw-in is met by Mitrovic's head but it goes over the bar.
Kolarov free kick swerved into the box, it is cleared and comes to Tadic around 20 yards outside goal. Tadic lines up a shot, it is on target but straight at the keeper.
Switzerland picking up pace now. Shaqiri with a clever pass cross field to Dzemaili who is clear on goal. But he takes a bizarre decision to cross it to a team mate running down the far side of the box. the attack simply fizzes out by itself. Serbia didn't need to do much to avert the danger, Switzerland made it and broke it all by themselves.
29 mins, Switzerland chance!
Zuber with a dinked pass into the box and Dzemaili comes rushing in, Serbian keeper Stojkovic comes in to block the latter's effort. That was a close call there.
Ivanovic's cross picked up by Mitrovic, who is toying around with his marker Schaar, the Newcastle man chests the ball and tries an overhead kick. It is over the bar.
All Switzerland at the moment but they are not able to get more than two passes together in the final third. Serbia would take that all day.
Ivanovic with a shot from outside the box right side of the D and the Swiss keeper palms it out, it comes back to Mitrovic who tries to head it back in first time but the ball is over.
GOAL! Serbia 1-0 Switzerland (Mitrovic 5 mins)
Sustained pressure from Serbia pays off, Aleksander Mitrovic finds the target once again. Tadic's cross into the box and Mitrovic beats Schaarr to put it in the back of the net.
The teams walk out, captains Aleksandar Kolarov and Stephan Lichsteiner shake hands and Switzerland kick off the proceedings at the Kaliningrad stadium.
There is a political angle to this match
Swiss stars Xerdan Shaqiri, Granit Xhaka and Valon Behrami all have roots tying them to Kosovo, a country that declared independence from Serbia in 2008. Serbia still doesn't recognise Kosovo but the country's national team got FIFA and UEFA recognition in 2016. Before that the likes of Shaqiri were its loudest advocates. For example, this was Shaqiri's post six days before Kosovo's international friendly against Albania.
Serbia: Stojkovic; Ivanovic, Milenkovic, Tosic, Kolarov; Matic, Milivojevic; Tadic, Milinkovic-Savic, Kostic; Mitrovic
Subs: Rukavina, Spajic, Zivkovic, Prijovic, Rajkovic, Veljkovic, Rodic, Grujic, Ljajic, Radonjic, Jovic Dmitrovic
Switzerland: Sommer; Lichtsteiner, Schär, Akanji, Rodriguez; Xhaka, Behrami; Shaqiri, Dzemaili, Zuber; Seferovic
Subs: Moubandje, Elvedi, Lang, Embolo, Freuler, Mvogo, Fernandes, Gavranovic, Drmic, Djourou, Bürki
Hello and welcome!
The last time Serbian people celebrated their team's progression to the second round of a World Cup, that team in question was Yugoslavia. Now, a win here would be enough for the Serbians to go through for the first time in the country's independent history. It would also make Brazil more or less the favourites to go through but a Swiss win would make this group more open than a pasture that serves a cowherd. So the fate of the sanity of those following this group rests on this match. Let's get right down to it.