September 23, 2018

Switzerland into last 16 after dramatic finish against Costa Rica

03 July 2018, 04:51 | Pamela Mathis

Switzerland march on despite late draw with Costa Rica

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However, it was the Swiss who took the lead in the 31st minute when Blerim Dzemaili smashed home from 8 meters after a good nod down from Breel Embolo and he almost doubled the lead a minute later with a shot which was deflected out for a corner.

Costa Rica claimed a dramatic draw in the 93rd minute when Bryan Ruiz's penalty bounded off the bar and into the goal off the back of Swiss keeper Yann Sommer, who produced an excellent performance.

A win for Switzerland would secure them a place in the final 16 and potentially even clinch them the top spot in Group E. Read the text online broadcast of the match Switzerland - Costa Rica.

The Swiss looked in cruise control but Costa Rica carved out two decent chances early on the second half.

If Switzerland beat Sweden, they will be into their first World Cup quarter final since reaching the last 8 on home soil in 1954.

The Central Americans, the only team who had yet to score in Russian Federation, finally broke their duck when defender Kendall Waston powered home Joel Campbell's corner in the 56th minute.

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Josip Drmic came from the bench to restore Switzerland lead in the 88th minute following a cross from Denis Zakaria.

Vladimir Petkovic's side will now take on fellow Europeans Sweden in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday as Brazil's victory over Serbia ensured the five-time winners progressed as Group E winners. Embolo's cross from the right was on the money for Drmic, but the second half substitute turned his headed effort onto the frame of the goal. Ruiz stepped up to score his 25th worldwide goal, but he struck the woodwork and it bounced into the net off Sommer.

Costa Rica was in danger of becoming the first team since Algeria and Honduras in 2010 to leave a World Cup without a goal.

"During the first 20 to 25 minutes we were able to recover very important balls", Costa Rica coach Oscar Ramirez said.

Costa Rica lost both starting matches, has lost chances to qualify from the group and Switzerland will try to slam the door in farewell.

There was late drama as Ruiz thought he had won a penalty only for VAR to show he was offside before the referee pointed to the spot. The goal was given as an own goal by Sommer.

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