Switzerland came from behind to beat Serbia 2-1 in the World Cup Group E showdown in Kaliningrad, thanks to two second-half goals from Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri after they trailed at half-time in one of the most thrilling matches so far in Russian Federation 2018.
The result leaves Serbia, Switzerland and Brazil in a three-way battle for the two qualifying spots from Group E. Switzerland and Brazil now top the group on four points, with Serbia on three.
Serbia will in all likelihood need to beat Brazil on Wednesday to stand a chance of qualifying for the last 16, while a draw will be enough for Switzerland.
Despite Serbia controlling play early, the organization of Switzerland led to two second-half goals to give them a deserving win.
- Only Josef Hugi (6 goals) has scored more World Cup goals for Switzerland than Xherdan Shaqiri (four, tied with Robert Ballamann and Andre Abegglen). "It was a really emotional game".
Meanwhile, two Swiss government ministers have backed Xhaka and Shaqiri. Shaquiri's initial attempt from the right edge of the box was blocked and the rebound fell to the Arsenal midfielder outside the penalty area. But hurt pride was not a factor.
"We're aware of what's in store for us", he told a press conference.
Serbia boss Mladen Krstajic has called for the referee in Friday's World Cup loss against Switzerland to be put on trial in The Hague "like they did to us".
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"If they are such great patriots, why don't they play for their own countries instead of Switzerland?".
In the Kosovo capital, Pristina, fans set off flares when the Swiss players scored. "They have some weak spots that we are going to try to exploit".
Their plea seem to have born fruits as Federation Internationale de Football Association has moved swiftly to investigate the celebrations and make a final verdict.
Both Xhaka and Shaqiri performed matching celebrations following their goals, interlocking their fingers in a gesture celebrating Albania.
The disciplinary committee also opened disciplinary proceedings against the federations of Argentina and Croatia for crowd disturbances during Croatia's 3-0 win on Thursday in Nizhny Novgorod.
Both sides continued to go back and forth, but the game's finest moments came in its final minutes.
Head coach Vladimir Petkovic could name the same side that drew 1-1 with Brazil, with Haris Seferovic continuing as a lone forward.
"We found our balance in the second half".
Serbia, however, have a much more hard task.