Forsberg scored the goal that passed Sweden to the next round. Autor: Getty Images Publicado: 04/07/2018 | 05:00 pm
A World Cup, putting football aside, is a trademarks´ war. The jerseys, the colorful boots, the advertising hoarding and even the supporters, like they were propaganda legitimators, promote this whole idea. At the end, the credit is not obtained only by the players but, by the provider trademarks as well, paraphrasing Eduardo Galeano. If we focus on this statement, we can say that Adidas has won the trophy more times than Brazil.
Obviously, when it comes to the trademark´s issue, it is not always related with the aesthetic-functional elements which influence on the players´ performance. Sometimes, it has to do with that signature that defines their way of playing.
Sweden and Switzerland battled in St. Petersburg in a clear afternoon. These two teams showed a lot of differences on their conceptions on the Krestovski Stadium´s field.
The Swedish are like that furniture from Ikea: practical and easy to assemble. According to their identity, they stick to a scheme similar to the ones designed by the well-known enterprise. At the end what combine them is that idea of football intrinsic pragmatism of playing straight and the unsolvable absence of sufficiently effective exterior plays.
On the other hand, the Swiss team is more like a Patek Philippe watch. Its way of handling the game is based on a mix of stealth and forcefulness, like every fine watch piece. The secret behind its mechanism lays on its capacity to perform in silence but, with an admirable determination.
Like it was expected, the confrontation between these two teams was not so exciting to the crew that assisted to the game. The excess of midfield plays and the defensive strength as protagonist may result boring sometimes.
Later, in the second half, feelings shook up a little. It is at these times when haste shatters every tactic and the chances arrive. At 66’, Emil Forsberg received the ball from Ola Toivonen from the right side, left aside his blocker Granit Xhaka and shot. Good luck was on his side. What could have been a frontal shoot was instead an unapproachable ball for goalkeeper Yann Sommer due to an accidental deviation by defensive player Manuel Akanji.
From that moment on, The Swiss team tried everything but were stopped by a defense that only allowed nine goals in the pre eliminatory round. The Sweden team believed in the trademarks and knew how to finish well the game.
Tea Defeats Coffee
Late that day, in the Otkrytie Stadium, other two contrasting and intense selections were confronting. Colombia and England were rivals in what was, for many fans, an anticipated game of the eight finals.
After James Rodriguez´s injury, the men under the command of José Néstor Pékerman commended the creative functions to Juan Fernando Quintero. He along with Juan Guillermo Cuadrado would have the offensive control.
The English team looked for association under the command of Dele Alli. Also, it tried to strengthen the game with the performances of Raheem Sterling, Kieran Trippier, Ashley Young and Jesse Lingard while Harry Kane was inside the Colombian area waiting for goal chances.
The first half went by with a few chances but getting thigh enough to make it interesting. However, in the second half the charm started to fade away due to the absence of goals.
At the minute 57’, the referee noticed a polemic contact between Carlos Sánchez and Kane on the Colombian goal area and decided to penalize the action. The Tottenham front player requested the chance and scored from the penalty spot his sixth goal in Russia 2018.
From that instant on, the frustrated Colombian team raised its level of committed fouls instead of trying to score. There were enough some yellow cards to make them realize that it was more a matter of rational thinking than brute force.
Later, in injury time, Mateus Uribe reached a rebound and only the accurate performance by Jordan Pickford avoided the goal. However, Yerry Mina, like he did against Poland and Senegal, scored with a header and force the extra time.
In the next half an hour, both team looked to score, trying to get the victory and avoid the penalty shots. Nevertheless, they were not able to and had to go to the “punishment round”.
The score board was set 3-2 having Colombia the advantage, after goals by Falcao, Cuadrado and Muriel on one side, and by Kane and Rashford on the other. The failed attempts by Jordan Henderson y Mateus Uribe were essential to give advantage to England. Later, Trippier scored and Bacca failed. At the end, Eric Dier sentenced the game with an accurate shot. England was entering the top eight.
Results July 3: Sweden 1-0 Switzerland (Forsberg 66’); Colombia 1-1 (3-4 penalty shots) England (Kane 57’P/Mina 90+3’).
Quarter final games:
Friday: Uruguay-France and Brazil- Belgium;
Saturday: Sweden – England and Russia-Croatia.