Emil Forsberg’s deflected effort was enough to send Sweden through to the quarter-finals. The unfortunate Akanji diverted the shot into the net as Switzerland were beaten 1-0 in Saint Petersburg.
There was plenty of colour in Saint Petersburg with the red of the Swiss and the yellow of Sweden on show.
The Swedes have often played on the counter attack but were on an even playing field here. They managed to create good openings as they started brightly but Marcus Berg was rash and his finish wild.
The best chance in the first half fell to the forward. The ball bounced around the box before he swiveled and volleyed into the turf, forcing a great save from Yann Sommer.
The Swiss were slow to threaten in the game, but did carve out an opening. Neat interchanges down the right led to Stephen Zuber setting up Blerim Dzemali, but he was also uncomposed and hit over.
The second half was more of the same, a lot of effort and creativity but the final ball was lacking.
But on 66 minutes, luck graced Sweden. Emil Forsberg was the source of any chances for his side in the game, so fitting he provided the break through. He found room on the edge of the area and with the deflection off Swiss defender Akanji, left Sommer helpless with what was a tame shot.
Switzerland now were throwing all they could at Sweden to salvage the game. Breel Embolo’s header was blocked on the line by man of the moment Forsberg.
In pushing for the equaliser, they were caught out and Sebastian Lang saw red in added time when bringing down Martin Olson. A long VAR review after which reversed a penalty to a free-kick and the Swedes celebrated.
A run reminiscent of their 1994 side, they reached the semi-finals. They’ll await the winners of England and Colombia for their quarter-final tie