A single deflected goal from Emil Forsberg was enough to see Sweden beat last-16 opponents Switzerland and go muscling into the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time in 24 years.
The Scandinavian side were resolutely defensive from the start, embodied by gnarled centre-half Andreas Granqvist, who captained his country in St. Petersburg despite his wife being due to give birth on the same day.
In all honesty, the match was rather drab for large swathes, with Switzerland unable to make much headway with danger man Xherdan Shaqiri stifled out on the right flank.
The decisive goal came in the 66th minute, when Forsberg cut inside, meandered into a pocket of space and then unleashed a fairly tame effort that needed a knick off Manuel Akaji to find its way past Yann Sommer…
The rest of the game lilted away in much the same vein before briefly providing a couple of scintillas of action in the final few minutes.
Firstly, after 90 minutes of nothing much, Sweden ‘keeper Robin Olsen was finally forced to pull off a save when Haris Seferovic sent a near-post header at his goal.
With the Vladimir Petkovic’s side finally starting to throw numbers forward, play turned over quickly and a single ball over the top sent Martin Olsson haring through on the Switzerland goal.
The Swansea City defender was then felled as he made his way into the box, but a VAR check adjudged the foul to have taken place. A freekick was awarded right on the edge of the box which Ola Toivonen subsequently thrashed directly at Sommer with what proved to be the final kick of the match.
And with that, as unexciting as it was, Sweden successfully ground and grafted their passage into the last eight bracket for the first time since USA’94.
As you well know, only time will tell if they are to meet England or Colombia therein.