Switzerland trumps Serbia 2-1, moves closer to last 16 spot

It was a sweet victory for Shaqiri and fellow Swiss goalscorer Granit Xhaka.

Switzerland's Granit Xhaka celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the group E match against Serbia on Friday.   -  AP

A last-minute Xherdan Shaqiri breakaway goal has handed Switzerland victory as it came from behind to defeat Serbia 2-1 in Kaliningrad.

The win puts Switzerland in pole position to make it out of a tough Group E that contains five-time winner Brazil but it was pushed all the way by the Serbs.

It was a sweet victory for Shaqiri and fellow Swiss goalscorer Granit Xhaka, who along with team-mate Valon Belrami were booed relentlessly by Serbia’s fans throughout.

READ: Shaqiri's last-gasp winner downs Serbia

Swiss coach Vladimir Petkovic said on Friday that politics and football should “never mix” after two players celebrated goals in a 2-1 victory over Serbia with political gestures.

“You should never mix politics and football, it's good to be a fan and important to show respect,” he told reporters after the game.

“It's clear that emotions surface. I think on and off the pitch we need to steer away from politics in football and we should focus on this as a sport that brings people together.”

WATCH: Highlights - Switzerland 2-1 Serbia

“In football you have always emotions and you can see what I did and it's just emotion,” he said in reference to his controversial celebration.

“I'm very happy to score the goal, that's all.”

“We lost our bearings a little in the first half but we bounced back,” said Petkovic.

“What is important is that we've developed this winning mentality. Even when we are down we keep our heads up and try to win every game. From day one when we saw the group draw many thought that Brazil was the favourite,” said Serbia coach Mladen Krstajic.

“We need a win and we will focus and do whatever we can to try and do,” he added.


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