Swiss coach unimpressed with celebrations in win over Serbia

Swiss coach unimpressed with celebrations in win over Serbia

Swiss coach unimpressed with celebrations in win over Serbia

Xherdan Shaqiri's last minute victor capped an impressive comeback for the Swiss in an eventful Group E encounter in Kaliningrad after Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka levelled following Aleksandar Mitrovic's opener.

Both Shaqiri and Xhaka pointedly celebrated their goals by making an eagle gesture with their hands, viewed as a symbol of defiance. Serbian midfielder Luka Milivojevic had asked of the Swiss-Albanians.

Xhaka, whose younger brother Taulant plays for Albania, is one of four Swiss internationals of Albanian heritage.

Shaqiri also played in boots marked with the flags of Switzerland and Kosovo - the breakaway region that is not recognized as independent by Serbia or Russian Federation. Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008 and is not recognized as a sovereign nation by Serbia. Then Swiss midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri, who was born in Kosovo, scored the winning goal in the 90th minute of the game on a breakaway pass that led him charging down the field.

"You should never mix politics and football", Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic said.

"I think we should not talk that much but show our mettle on the pitch".

All eyes will be on Juventus, Manchester United and Real Madrid target Sergej Milinkovic-Savic again after his dazzling display but it could be Aleksandar Mitrovic's time to shine. Politicians in Switzerland and Serbia had their say, too, in the matter. "It's a wonderful atmosphere and a positive experience and that's what football should be about".

Unlike Croatia, who had erected a "cage" for Lionel Messi on the inside-right area of midfield, Serbia's central players had to deal with a much more varied threat. "I am a man of sports, and this is what I'm going to stay being".

But it was Serbia, who beat Costa Rica 1-0 in their Group E opener, who almost went in two up. Serbia will face Brazil in Moscow at the same time.

In a frenetic first half, Switzerland had more of the ball but were sloppy with it, giving away possession in advanced positions and sending Serbia on the break.

Serbia must beat Brazil in their final game to qualify without relying on the result of the Swiss game against Costa Rica, who are eliminated after losing their first two games.

He opened proceedings at the Kaliningrad Stadium after heading home a towering header, which means he has now scored 15 goals in his last 18 starts for Serbia.

Petkovic paid tribute to the Switzerland fans for the backing they gave their team despite being outnumbered by Serbia supporters, and picked out Granit Xhaka's equalising goal as the turning point in the game.

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