'We're not satisfied yet'
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Sweden striker Emile Forsberg (R) landed a decisive yet cruel blow to Switzerland as his strike from outside the box took a wicked deflection and sailed into the net in a round of 16 match in Saint Petersburg yesterday. Photo: REUTERS
Sweden are delighted to make it to the quarter-finals but they are not satisfied yet, coach Janne Andersson told reporters after his side edged Switzerland 1-0 to reach the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 1994.

In another gritty team performance, Emil Forsberg's deflected shot secured victory over a misfiring Switzerland who were smothered by Sweden's defence, and set up a clash with either England or Colombia on Saturday.

"This team personifies the approach we all share - we work for each other on and off the pitch, and I'm incredibly happy that it's paying off," Andersson told reporters.

"We're going to focus on one thing when we've digested this victory, and that's the game on Saturday. We don't even know what team we will face yet, but that is going to be the focus of our preparations," he said.

The Swedes have now seen off Netherlands from their qualifying group, Italy in a playoff, Germany at the group stage and Switzerland in the last 16, leading to questions about whether other nations have underestimated Andersson and his men.

"I think you'd have to ask everyone else that question. We know we are a good team, that we've earned our successes - we know how we got this far," the 55-year-old explained.

"We've worked this way throughout, we're continuing the same way, and what other teams and countries think about that is not interesting."

The delighted Sweden fans stayed behind to sing their modest coach's name long after the final whistle, and he came back out after the teams had left the field.

"It's a surreal feeling, to be standing in St Petersburg on the pitch afterwards and people are calling out my name. That feels strange - during the match I'm focused on the game," he said.

Sweden may have exceeded expectations in Russia but they are not done yet, and Andersson and his squad will now assess the players and their coming opponents before going into battle again.

"Now it's about taking the next step. We're not satisfied with this, and nothing more," he said.

"We want to win the next match as well - if you start to lower the bar, the level of ambition, that's not going to make for satisfaction."

TOO SLOW AND LACKING EMOTION, SAYS SWISS COACH

Switzerland were too slow and lacked emotion, coach Vladimir Petkovic said after watching his side meekly surrender to Sweden.

"We are sorely disappointed, we wanted to do more," Petkovic said. "Sweden did precisely what they were good at and that was enough to beat us. We should have done things better, but we were not good enough to win this match."

Switzerland had more possession but were too predictable to find a way past the massed Swedish defence.

"We wanted to play down the wings but we were too slow, our passes were not good," said Petkovic. "We played out of defence too slowly and we also tried to play diagonal passes, but we were not good enough."

The defeat was doubly disappointing as the tournament had been seen as a golden opportunity for a generation of players -- many sons of immigrants from the Balkans -- which is regarded as the finest the country has produced.

"We didn't find any fluidity and we got stuck in the middle," said Petkovic. "Our emotions were playing tricks on us.

"Sweden are a strong team but we didn't expect to be losing against them -- but there were tiny details..."

He added: "This game was only ever going to be decided with a own goal or a long-range shot."

 

 

 

04 Jul, 2018 12:13:20