Shaqiri stuns Serbia to give Swiss hope

Hirving Lozano

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. "I think on and off the pitch we need to steer away from politics in football and we should focus on this as a sport that brings people together".

Xhaka silenced the Serbian contingent in the 52nd minute, however, when he left fly with a left-foot shot which flew into the net from 25 metres before Shaqiri broke away to win the game at the death.

After holding off Brazil in their opening contest, Switzerland will be eager to pick up their first win at the expense of Serbia. Sprinting clear of the Serbian defence as injury time approached, Shaqiri planted the ball beneath the advancing Stojkovic to move his side into second place in the pool.

A reporter asked Petkovic how he would discuss the issue with his players, and the coach sidestepped the question.

It is not a mistake current coach Mladen Krstajic intends to repeat and the Lazio man - who has reportedly attracted the interest of Real Madrid - was lively against Costa Rica. "I don't deal with these things".

Serbia went in front in the fifth minute when Aleksandar Mitrovic, after missing a header moments earlier, rose above a Swiss defender and wonderfully guided a Dusan Tadic cross from the right past goalkeeper Yann Sommer and into the far corner. Up next for the Swiss are Costa Rica.

More news: Spain Overcomes Iran's Stubborn Defense in the World Cup

Serbia almost had their second just before the half but Dusko Tosic's diving header from point-blank range skidded off his head to Nemanja Matic who couldn't react fast enough to finish the chance. Serbia will face Brazil in Moscow at the same time. Mitrovic came close in the 19th minute when he controlled a cross from Branislav Ivanovic on his chest and sent a bicycle kick over the bar.

The old wounds between Serbia and Albania also saw an incident in 2014 during a qualifying match for Euro 2016.

Another interesting consideration is that Group E's opponents in the last 16 - the F section made up of Germany, Mexico, Sweden and South Korea - will play their last games before Brazil et al. line up on Wednesday night.

Shaqiri had been booed relentlessly by Serbia fans during the high-quality match, but had the last laugh with his last ditch victor.

Switzerland 2-1 Serbia, Shaqiri bags a late victor as Serbia concede one goal lead to suffer a 2-1 defeat.

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