World Cup: Stunners From Granit Xhaka And Xherdan Shaqiri Give Switzerland Dramatic Comeback Win Over Serbia In Politically-Charged Clash (Photos & Video)

Alan Duffy

23rd, June 2018

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Switzerland registered the first comeback win of the 2018 World Cup, with cracking goals from Premier League duo Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri firing their side to a 2-1 win over Serbia.

Serbia impressed in the first-half, with Newcastle striker Aleksandar Mitrovic heading his side into the lead after just five minutes.

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After the break, the Swiss rallied with Arsenal midfielder Xhaka scoring a belter to level the scores on 52 minutes.

Serbia were unlucky not to win a penalty when Mitrovic was wrestled by, not one, but two defenders in the Swiss box. However, even with VAR in operation, the Serbs’ justified protests were somehow ignored by the officials.

Then, at the death, Stoke winger Shaqiri scored a superb solo goal, dribbling from the half-way line before firing past goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic.

As with Xhaka, Shaqiri celebrated the goal by making the double eagle celebration, a nod to their Albanian origins, something which would incense the Serbs.

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The game would end 2-1 to Switzerland, who go level with Brazil on points at the top of Group E.

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A draw against Costa Rica will see them progress to the last 16.

Serbia are just one point behind Brazil and Switzerland, so are still in with a shout of qualification, despite a rather tricky final game against the South Americans.

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In the aftermath of the game, the Serbian press condemned Xhaka, whose father was imprisoned by Yugoslavia for pro-Kosovan protests, and Shaqiri for their ‘provocative’ gestures which put the still raw political tensions of the Balkans very much in the spotlight in Russia.

Aside from the political fallout, Switzerland look a decent outfit and one capable of giving anyone a game this summer.

Posted in World Cup

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