Xherdan Shaqiri’s 89th-minute winner in a 2-1 win against Serbia, concluded a day of late shows in the World Cup as Switzerland went level with Brazil at the top of Group E.
An early strike from Nikola Mirotic gave Serbia the lead before Granit Xhaka cancelled it out with a stunning strike from distance. The Hero on the night was Stoke City’s Xherdan Shaqiri however, who expertly slotted past Vladimir Stojkovic in the dying minutes of the game.
Serbia started much the better of the two, giving Switzerland an early scare. Mirotic’s first effort in the third minute was saved by Yann Sommer. However, Serbia’s early onslaught was relentless and two minutes later Southampton’s Dusan Tadic found himself in space and put in a delightful ball, Mirotic didn’t need a second invitation as he put his side in front, deservedly so.
Both teams had chances throughout the first half but were unable to score. Switzerland drew level on the 52nd minute as an improvised Granit Xhaka strike from outside the box flew past Stojkovic and levelled the scores.
Soon after Switzerland’s equaliser, Serbia were given a warning of Shaqiri’s talent as the mercurial winger curled an effort from an acute angle but was unlucky as his effort hit rebounded off the bar.
It appeared that the game was going to end in a stalemate before Switzerland’s talisman Shaqiri won it at the death. The little magician picked up the ball on the halfway and ran towards the Serbia goal before he expertly slotted home.
The result puts Switzerland level at the top of group E with Brazil, with Serbia a point behind. Three teams can still qualify from this group, but Switzerland will feel confident about qualification having already played Brazil and Serbia.