Switzerland's late victor over Serbia throws World Cup's Group E wide open

Alfred Finnbogason

The goal put Switzerland second in the group with a winnable match against Costa Rica left, while Serbia now must get a result against Group favorite Brazil.

Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka scored a screamer in Switzerland's win over Serbia - before he celebrated with an extremely controversial gesture.

Xhaka silenced the Serbian contingent in the 52nd minute, however, when he rifled home a loose ball in spectacular style from 25 metres before Shaqiri ran onto a through ball and finished with aplomb to win the game at the death.

After holding off Brazil in their opening contest, Switzerland will be eager to pick up their first win at the expense of Serbia. "In football, you have always emotions".

Shaqiri was born in Kosovo, the former Serbian province that declared independence in 2008.

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As she boarded a plane to Texas , she appeared to be wearing a Zara jacket with the astonishing caption: "I really don't care". Mihalik serves as chairperson of that group's Children, Health and Human Services Committee.

A 1-0 win over Costa Rica and Brazil's surprise 1-1 draw with Switzerland has left Serbia on the cusp of advancing from Group E in Russian Federation.

"If there are such Albanian patriots, why don't they play for that country?"

However not everyone was enjoying the political gesture, as Serbian fans booed in the stadium, other football fans shared their disgust at the gestures on Twitter.

And Serbia head coach Mladen Krstajic is braced for a hard encounter, telling Swiss newspaper Blick: "They are very strong!" Up next for the Swiss are Costa Rica.

Mitrovic too looked lively, winning header after header over the Swiss centre backs and he opened the scoring on five minutes with an emphatic finish off an exquisite cross from Tadic.

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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.

Tensions have been building in Serbia before the Group E match Friday in Kaliningrad.

Lazio's highly rated Sergej Milinkovic-Savic fizzed a right-footed shot narrowly wide of Sommer's right post on 15 minutes, and Mitrovic nearly scored with a spectacular bicycle kick that went the same way minutes later. Serbia will face Brazil in Moscow at the same time.

But the similarities between the two Balkan nations fell by the wayside, along with Serbia's tactical cohesion, when Swiss coach Vladimir Petkovic brought on fresh legs to stretch the game.

Shaqiri had been booed relentlessly by Serbia fans throughout a high-quality match, but the Stoke City forward had the last laugh with his last ditch victor.

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Kim had tripped Claesson, though, and the converted penalty was enough to give Sweden its first World Cup victory since 2006. Four years ago Japan was beaten 4-1 by Colombia also during group stage in Brazil.

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