This is the 44th match in the FIFA World Cup holding in Moscow, Russia.
Date & Time of match:
Wednesday, June 27
Switzerland and Costa Rica in the Group E at 7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ET
___SCORE: Switzerland 2-2 Costa Rica__
Switzerland were far from their best against Costa Rica, but secured the point they needed to progress to the World Cup knockout stages.
Switzerland booked their spot in the last 16 of the World Cup courtesy of a 2-2 draw with Costa Rica in Nizhny Novgorod on Wednesday.
Brazil’s win over Serbia in the night’s other Group E game means that Vladimir Petkovic’s side finish second in the pool and will take on Sweden in St Petersburg on Tuesday.
Switzerland – whose last-gasp win over Serbia in their second game set them up for progression to the knockout stages – were second best for large periods against their already eliminated opponents, but did take the lead just after the half-hour mark.
Blerim Dzemaili took advantage of generous marking to power home from close range before Kendall Waston pulled Costa Rica level shortly after the interval.
Substitute Josip Drmic thought he had secured all three points for Switzerland with a cool 88th-minute finish before Bryan Ruiz’s penalty cannoned off Yann Sommer for an unfortunate own goal to ensure a share of the spoils.
Switzerland’s attentions now turn to their crunch clash with Janne Andersson’s side, while Costa Rica are left to reflect on a campaign that fell well short of their magical run to the quarter-finals in 2014.
70′ The corner-kick runs all the way through the penalty area as the set-piece flies over the mess of bodies in the centre and just over Celso Borges. Yann Sommer flaps at the delivery but luckily for him, no Costa Rica player was in a position to attack the relatively good delivery.
69′ Mario Gavranovic’s match is over as Vladimir Petkovic elects to replace him with Josip Drmic. Gavranovic has had a very underwhelming day – contributing very little in attack.
68′ Oviedo teases a ball into the box from the left looking for Joel Campbell but Fabian Schar is there to head it out of danger and away for a Costa Rica corner-kick.
66′ Bryan Ruiz retains possession after riding a number of challenges from opposing defenders but sends his final ball too far for Cristian Gamboa to latch on to and Switzerland escape the danger with a throw-in deep in their own half.
64′ Celso Borges hits a speculative volley after winning the possession following a Switzerland throw-in. With the ball bouncing and the midfielder closer to his half than the goal, he confidently hammers his effort towards goal, missing the net on the far side by some distance.
62′ Petkovic, even after conceding the equaliser is no doubt keeping one eye on the next fixture, as Valon Behrami’s removal is surely a result of the midfielder being one caution away from a suspension. With Stephan Lichtsteiner already unavailable for their first knockout fixture, the manager will surely take necessary precautions to ensure he doesn’t suffer further casualties.
60′ Valon Behrami is being removed in Switzerland’s first substitution of the match. On in his place is Denis Zakaria.
58′ Switzerland and Costa Rica are meeting for the third time and the first time at a major tournament – both nations have recorded one win each.
56′ Joel Campbell’s wonderfully delivered corner-kick perfectly set Kendall Waston up for the goal. As a result, Campbell is awarded the assist.
56′ COSTA RICA HAVE THEIR GOAL AND IT’S 1-1! The Costa Rica fans and players are in ecstasy as Kendall Waston nods in the equaliser from a corner-kick after Manuel Akanji failed to mark his man properly. The defender who did not start the previous game has made amends for his earlier miss with a brilliant header!
55′ Costa Rica number nine nods it down for Oviedo who attempts an audacious scissor-kick which balloons hopelessly high of Sommer’s goal.
53′ Shaqiri shows his class with a brilliant ball knocked through two Costa Rica defenders for Breel Embolo who pounces on it in the penalty area. The young winger turns and fires a shot from a narrow angle which Keylor Navas gets his hands. The Real Madrid goalkeeper also does well to keep the ball in play, saving his side from having to defend a corner.
51′ Colindres sweeps a cross into the penalty area searching for Campbell but the ball stays in the air for too long and goes out for a goal-kick before Bryan Oviedo could meet it on the right flank.
49′ Rodriguez hammers a volleyed effort towards goal from a central position just outside the penalty area. The left-back gets plenty of dip and swerve on the effort but he guides it high and wide of Keylor Navas.
47′ Bryan Oviedo is given a talking to by the referee after fouling Shaqiri on the right wing. It’s Shaqiri himself who swings in the free-kick, but the delivery is low and unable to beat the first Costa Rica defender who nods it away.
46′ Costa Rica get their last 45 minutes of World Cup 2018 underway from the kick-off, down by a single goal.
Costa Rica have not played like a side who are secure in their fate of an early exit. They are pressing Switzerland and causing a number of turnovers in midfield. Any time they foil an opposition attack, they are very quick to move forward and cause disarray on the counter-attack. Though Petkovic’s side look a certainty to get the result from this position, it would not be shocking to see Bryan Ruiz and company make life difficult for Yann Sommer in the second period.
Switzerland go into the half with a 1-0 lead over Costa Rica after a Blerim Dzemaili thunderbolt 31 minutes into the match. It could be so much different for Los Ticos had Daniel Colindres’ curled effort bounced in after he struck the crossbar from considerable distance. Perhaps an early Costa Rica goal was necessary for the match, as Switzerland have looked very comfortable to keep the ball in defence, passing it between Fabian Schar and Manuel Akanji. With a draw good enough for Petkovic’s side to advance – it seems apparent that that is their aim, much to the dismay of the fans in the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium who are making their disdain heard.
45′ + 1′ HALF TIME: Switzerland 1-0 Costa Rica.
45′ The referee indicates one added minute of stoppage time at the end of the half.
44′ Switzerland look likely to take this lead into half time, which should please manager Vladimir Petkovic. Though his side have not been entertaining or lively today, they are doing what they came to do – surely the mark of a good side.
42′ Colindres sends the ball across the penalty area for Borges after Campbell initiates a counter-attack, but the pass is slightly too long for the tired central midfielder and Borges is unable to take the opportunity as it rolls harmlessly behind for a Sommer goal-kick.
40′ That earlier booking for Stephan Lichtsteiner is a costly one, as he has accumulated too many cards and will be unavailable to feature in Switzerland’s first knockout match.
38′ The free-kick is swung in beautifully by David Guzman towards the back post for Waston who arrives sliding in a fraction of a second too late, as the ball just goes out for a goal-kick before the centre-back could get there.
37′ Daniel Colindres wins a free-kick in midfield after a tackle from Valon Behrami – and captain Stephan Lichtsteiner is booked for dissent as the right-back appears very unhappy with the decision.
35′ Lichtsteiner puts the ball out of play as Xherdan Shaqiri has stayed down after a challenge from Kendall Waston in an off-the-ball incident. The creative player finally gets to his feet, but he is limping noticeably and grabbing his left hamstring. There was no malice from Waston however, and the referee decides not to take action against the defender.
33′ Against the run of play it has to be said, Switzerland have somehow managed to take the lead just after the half-hour mark. They have not looked convincing, but after riding their luck early – they are now in a commanding position to qualify from Group E.
31′ Breel Embolo’s intelligent choice to lay the ball off for Blerim Dzemaili with his head has awarded the winger an assist.
31′ BLERIM DZEMAILI MAKES IT 1-0 SWITZERLAND! WHAT A THUNDERBOLT! Against the run of play, Switzerland take the lead! Stephan Lichtsteiner gets free on the right-hand side and puts a delightful cross into the penalty area for Breel Embolo. Marked tightly, Embolo decides to nod the ball towards Dzemaili who is waiting in front of the net. With the goalkeeper out of the way, the central playmaker smashes his volley into the roof of the goal!
29′ Joel Campbell is given Costa Rica’s second yellow of the match after elbowing Manuel Akanji while running through midfield. The striker is protesting his innocents, but the referee has already made up his mind.
28′ Rodriguez sends a powerfully hit cross-field ball in search of Shaqiri at the edge of the penalty area but Bryan Oviedo is there to do his defensive duties and the ball is cleared immediately.
26′ Shaqiri takes a free-kick from the left-hand side and whips it onto the penalty spot where Navas is waiting to punch the ball away. Even from set-pieces, Switzerland seem to be unable to link up effectively.
24′ The fans at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium are making their displeasure heard as Switzerland turn towards Sommer every time they regain possession in midfield. It seems that they are more than happy to accept a draw from the outset – not a sentiment that is shared by Costa Rica who look very bright in attack.
22′ The Swiss give it away in midfield again but the Costa Rica attack fizzles out after Colindres’ low-driven cross is easily collected by Sommer.
21′ The Switzerland side seem a bit devoid of ideas at the moment, with every attack being held up in the defence for what seems like an eternity. Despite having rapid and creative players, Vladimir Petkovic’s side can be very ponderous at times.
19′ Shaqiri lofts a high, speculative ball into the penalty area for Gavranovic but Keylor Navas jumps highest to claim the ball quite easily.
17′ GAVRANOVIC BENDS IT AROUND THE OUTSIDE OF THE POST! Shaqiri’s blistering run through midfield ends as the diminutive player lays off the ball for Blerim Dzemaili, who loses possession on the edge of the box. Mario Gavranovic spots the opportunity and bends a ball toward the far post, but it just misses the target.
15′ Play is stopped as Cristian Gamboa looks in a world of pain after getting clattered by an airborne Keylor Navas who comes out to punch away a Stephan Lichtsteiner cross. The midfielder looks shaken up but should be alright to continue.
13′ Ricardo Rodriguez resumes play from a throw-in but takes a suspiciously long time – perhaps to settle his side down after Costa Rica’s latest onslaught. A cross from Shaqiri comes in for Gavranovic, but Giancarlo Gonzalez meets it with aplomb.
11′ Cristian Gamboa is shown the first yellow card of the match for a sliding challenge in midfield on Breel Embolo which caught none of the ball and all of the man.
10′ COLINDRES HITS THE WOODWORK AND THE BALL BOUNCES OUT! A terrible miscommunication in midfield by Switzerland gifts the ball to Daniel Colindres who gets away from Shaqiri and curls an absolute beauty towards Sommer’s far post, but the ball cannons off of the underside of the crossbar and out – with the ball never crossing the line. Costa Rica have started the match on absolute fire!
8′ DANIEL COLINDRES FIRES JUST OVER! The attacking-midfielder picks up the ball just outside the penalty area and glides past the run of Bryan Ruiz before hitting a powerful strike towards Sommer, who gets some respite as the ball goes narrowly over the crossbar.
7′ Costa Rica are laying siege to the Swiss goal at the moment. First, a Campbell shot is just about parried away by Yann Sommer, then a Celso Borges close-range header is blocked well by the diving Switzerland goalkeeper. It has been an incredible start from Los Ticos who are certainly not going down without a fight.
5′ Costa Rica are enjoying their first spell of position and came very close to scoring after Joel Campbell enters the penalty area and looks to send a cross into the path of Bryan Ruiz, but Ricardo Rodriguez gets in the way. Costa Rican shouts for a handball are promptly denied by the referee.
3′ It is indeed Shaqiri who delivers a low, pacey cross into the front post for Mario Gavranovic but the striker is unable to handle the delivery with his right foot and it goes out for a Keylor Navas goal-kick.
2′ Breel Embolo wins an early free-kick just outside the penalty area after being taken down. Xherdan Shaqiri takes a long, wide stance over the free-kick and it looks as though he will send an in-swinger to one of a number of his team-mates waiting in the penalty area.
1′ Switzerland get their final group fixture underway from the kick-off! It should be an enthralling 90 minutes in Nizhny Novgorod!
Stephan Lichtsteiner and Bryan Ruiz lead their respective teams out of the tunnel and onto the pitch to observe the national anthems with kick-off to follow shortly.
Oscar Ramirez makes three changes in Costa Rica’s farewell match in the 2018 World Cup but maintains his 3-4-2-1 shape. Oscar Duarte is replaced in defence by Kendall Waston, while Daniel Colindres and Joel Campbell enter the starting XI in forward positions, dropping Johan Venegas and Marco Urena to the bench.
Vladimir Petkovic goes into today’s match making two changes from the side that stole victory at the last moment against Serbia – with both alterations coming in attack. Breel Embolo takes the place of Steven Zuber as a support-striker on the left, while Mario Gavranovic replaces Haris Seferovic at striker. Despite the switches, the tactical formation remains the usual 4-2-3-1.
Costa Rica substitutes: Johan Venegas, Oscar Duarte, Christian Bolanos, Francisco Calvo, Yeltsin Tejeda, Patrick Pemberton, Leonel Moreira, Ian Smith, Rodney Wallace, Kenner Gutierrez, Randall Azofeifa, Solera, Marco Urena.
Costa Rica Starting XI (3-4-2-1): Keylor Navas; Johnny Acosta, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Kendall Waston; Cristian Gamboa, Celso Borges, David Guzman, Bryan Oviedo; Daniel Colindres, Bryan Ruiz; Joel Campbell.
Switzerland substitutes: Steven Zuber, Haris Seferovic, Josip Drmic, Yvon Mvogo, Roman Burki, Francois Moubandje, Nico Elvedi, Michael Lang, Johan Djourou, Remo Freuler, Gelson Fernandes, Denis Zakaria.
Switzerland Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Yann Sommer; Stephan Lichtsteiner, Fabian Schar, Manuel Akanji, Ricardo Rodriguez; Valon Behrami, Granit Xhaka; Xherdan Shaqiri, Blerim Dzemaili, Breel Embolo; Mario Gavranovic.
With 15 minutes to go before kick-off, it’s about time we take a look at how the two sides will be lining up! Let’s begin with Switzerland.
Switzerland have gone behind in both of the matches so far at the World Cup, and will need to get off to a good start against a Costa Rica side eager to bow out of the tournament on a positive note. The Swiss received positive news earlier this week as Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka escaped FIFA bans and will be available to play today.
That is the exact position Switzerland find themselves in on the last match day. Xherdan Shaqiri’s 90th-minute goal against Serbia secured the first come-from-behind victory of the tournament, and lifted Vladimir Petkovic’s squad into a commanding position for qualification, with a victory guaranteeing their progression – though Serbia must beat Brazil to have any shot to spoil the Swiss party.
After having tremendous success in Brazil in 2014 where Los Ticos reached the quarter-finals, their early exit from Russia is severely underwhelming. To Oscar Ramirez’s credit, both of Brazil’s goals came in injury time, and Serbia’s lone winner was a bit of magic from an Aleksandar Kolarov free-kick. Had luck been slightly more kind, they may have been taking the pitch today with a focus on the knockouts.
Nizhny Novgorod’s eponymously named stadium plays host today to the final match of Costa Rica’s fifth World Cup campaign – having made their debut in 1990. The CONCACAF nation’s 2-0 defeat to Brazil in their second match secured their elimination after the round-robin stage.
Hello and welcome to our LIVE commentary of the Group E fixture between Switzerland and Costa Rica from the 2018 World Cup in Russia!