Sweden reached the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time since 1994 when it beat Switzerland, 1-0, in their round-of-16 match in St. Petersburg. Emil Forsberg
was the hero, breaking a scoreless deadlock when he took a pass from Ola Toivonen
and broke free of
his marker, Granit Xhaka
, in the middle, firing a shot that deflected off Swiss defender Manuel Akanji
's foot and into the goal in the 66th minute.
Later in the game,
Forsberg saved Switzerland's best attempt when he cleared substitute Breel Embolo
's header off the line.
Since Euro 2016 when Sweden went out with only one point -- and one
goal scored -- in three games, Forsberg has taken over Zlatan Ibrahimovic
as the Swedish star though he lacks Ibra's size -- he's only 5-foot-9 -- and flash.
Forsberg's career took
off when he moved to RB Leipzig, then in Germany's second division, in 2015. He helped RB Leipzig win promotion in 2016 and led the Bundesliga with 19 assists in its debut season in 2016-17. Trivia.
Every other quarterfinalist except host Russia has been to the final eight since the Swedes finished third in the USA-hosted
World Cup. Russia never advanced out of the group stage until 2018. The former Soviet Union reached the quarterfinals in four straight World Cups (1958-70).