Belfast Telegraph

Emil Forsberg proud of Sweden togetherness as they reach quarter-finals

Sweden will face either England or Colombia in the last eight.

Sweden’s match-winner Emil Forsberg spoke of his pride after guiding his side in the World Cup quarter-finals.

Forsberg’s deflected 66th-minute strike handed the Swedes a 1-0 victory over Switzerland in a tight last-16 clash in St Petersburg.

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Forsberg netted Sweden’s winner (AP)

Speaking at the post-match press conference, Forsberg said: “It just means so much to me that we managed to win again in such an extraordinary way. We didn’t give Switzerland many chances at all.

“To see what we’re achieving together, it just brings tears to my eyes and makes me so proud. It is pushing us on to want to achieve more.

“If we get everything right, we know we can be really good both in defence and attack. We’re in the quarter-finals now and that’s proof that we’re doing something very well.”

With a number of fancied teams already eliminated from the tournament in Russia, the title is considered wide open but coach Janne Andersson does not want to look too far ahead.

Andersson said: “We are going to focus on one thing after digesting this victory and that is the game on Saturday, nothing else. We will do our best and see what happens.”

Andersson also paid tribute to his team’s togetherness and spirit.

He said: “Football is a team game and this team personifies that approach. We work together on and off the pitch and I am glad it is paying off with these results. We know we are a good team and we have earned our successes.”

Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic admitted his team had not been good enough on the day.

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Switzerland failed to spark (AP)

He said: “We’re sorely disappointed, the whole team is. We clearly wanted to do more.

“But we also congratulate the Swedish team as they have done precisely what they are very good at, and it has been enough to beat us. Once they score a goal, they’re an extremely tough nut to crack.

“We should have done better but we were simply below par and not good enough to win the game.

“There was something missing in the match from us, but in all the games Sweden have been involved in their opponents have had a difficult time developing the emotions and momentum you need.

“In the last 10 or 15 minutes we tried to play with more emotion and it went better, but in the end it wasn’t enough.”

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