Sweden slips by Switzerland with a 1-0 victory to advance to the quarterfinals
In one of the more expected even games, both teams came in confident in winning this match. Both teams played really well throughout the group stage but only one can take the next step which is reaching the quarterfinals. Throughout the 90 minutes this game was even, a tight game to be exact. Both teams were well organized and it could be known in the beginning part of the first half that this game will be a low scoring one. Switzerland possesses more individual better players, while the Swedes are a bit better when it comes to being organized than the Swiss. There were chances here and there for both teams but the Sweden had the more quality chances. Sweden would finally breakthrough in the 66th minute when Emil Forsberg’s shot just outside the box ended up in the back of the net thanks to a deflection from Swiss defender Manuel Akanji. Sweden almost received a penalty in the 93rd minute after Michael Lang tripped Martin Olsson which at first looked like the foul was inside the penalty, resulting in the referee giving a penalty to Sweden. As Switzerland sent all their players forward in search for a late equalizer, the Swedes counter attacked with numbers resulting in Lang fouling Olsson which Lang received a red card as he was the last player back for Switzerland. VAR (Video Assistant Referee) was called upon to review the play and the play showed the foul was taken just outside the box and that means no penalty for Sweden. Sweden would take the free kick but right after it the referee blew his whistle and the game ended for Sweden. This Swedish team continues to impress at the World Cup, especially with no Zlatan Ibrahimović in the squad. Sweden will be a tough opponent for any of the remaining teams at the World Cup. Sweden will face the winner of the Colombia/England game in the quarterfinals.
England advance to the quarterfinals after beating Colombia on penalties
England for the first time in their history have won a penalty shootout at a World Cup and their second at all major tournaments; their first since EURO 1996. Before the start of the game this game could have gotten either way, until it was announced that Colombia’s star man James Rodriguez would miss this game, making England the favorites in this one. England controlled possession throughout the first 75 minutes while Colombia sat back and tried to hit them off the counter attacks and set pieces. Most of the action came after the first half. England were awarded a penalty in the 57th minute when Harry Kane was pulled down in the box during an England corner, many consider this to be a soft given penalty. Nevertheless Harry Kane stepped up to the spot and put the penalty away to give England a 1-0 lead with a little over 30 minutes remaining. In the last 15 minutes Colombia would push in search of a late equalizer to send this game to extra time and they would find it. In the 93rd minute Yerry Mina would score the equalizer off a corner taken by Juan Cuadrado to tie this game at 1-1 and send this game to extra time. The drama would not end there as the game went to penalties. Each team scored their first two penalties and it was not till the third penalty there was a miss. Luis Muriel scored the third penalty for Colombia but it was Jordan Henderson who missed the penalty for England, giving Colombia a 3-2 advantage. But Colombia would not take advantage of that miss as they would miss their next two penalties while England made their next two, resulting in England winning the penalty shootout 4-3 and advancing to the quarterfinals. England advances to its first World Cup quarterfinals since the 2006 World Cup. This game had a lot of fouls and many yellow cards were given, not the type of match we wanted and expected from these two sides. English fans will be able to continue using their newly created slogan and trend “Football is Coming Home”, as their hopes of winning their first World Cup since 1966 are still alive. The 1966 World Cup was taken place in England and is England’s one and only World Cup win. The game of football or soccer was created in England, hence why the slogan is about soccer coming home. England will face Sweden in the quarterfinals in Samara on July 7th at 10am ET.
Dino Pavleka: @dino_ATL
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