Published: Sat, June 23, 2018
Sports | By Angie Alvarado

Shaqiri snatches last-gasp 2-1 win for Swiss over Serbia

Shaqiri snatches last-gasp 2-1 win for Swiss over Serbia

Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri are likely to face action from Federation Internationale de Football Association for their celebrations in Switzerland's 2-1 win over Serbia on Friday evening.

The Swiss looked in danger of being over-run when Serbia went ahead with an Aleksandar Mitrovic header after five minutes to the delight of their fervent supporters at the Kaliningrad stadium.

Xhaka was born to Kosovan-Albanian parents and his father Ragip spent three-and-a-half years in prison for demonstrating against the Communist Yogoslavia rule in Kosovo.

Shaqiri also played in boots marked with the flags of Switzerland and Kosovo - the breakaway region that is not recognized as independent by Serbia or Russian Federation.

"I'm not into politics", he said, also speaking through an interpreter. Then Swiss midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri, who was born in Kosovo, scored the winning goal in the 90th minute of the game on a breakaway pass that led him charging down the field. You can see what I did, and it's just emotion, and I'm just happy to have scored the goal.

Switzerland captain Stephan Lichtsteiner came to the defense of Shaqiri and team-mate Granit Xhaka, but head coach Vladimir Petkovic declined the opportunity to discuss political matters surrounding the fixture. "You should always show respect".

"I think that Mr. Petkovic is from Sarajevo".


Switzerland, who came to Russian Federation ranked ahead of the likes of France and Spain, felt their way into the game as the first-half progressed.

"From day one when we saw the group draw many thought that Brazil was the favourite", said Serbia coach Mladen Krstajic.

The hand gesture the players made after scoring is known as the duart e kryqezuara, or crossed hands. "It's a wonderful atmosphere and a positive experience and that's what football should be about". "I am a man of sports, and this is what I'm going to stay being".

Switzerland wasted little time in finding their equaliser after the break with Granit Xhaka pouncing on a blocked Shaqiri shot and firing an unstoppable blast from outside the box past a helpless Stojkovic on 52 minutes.

Xhaka was playing a lot more freedom with a change of system, his through ball on the edge of Serbia's penalty area found Steven Zubar but former Chelsea full-back Branislav Ivanovic knocked it away from his toes just in time.

Serbia are the lowest ranked team in Group E but come into this game in pole position after their 1-0 win over Costa Rica, while the Swiss earned a creditable 1-1 draw with joint-favourites Brazil in their opening game.

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