RT guest host Peter Schmeichel says Switzerland’s win over Serbia in Kaliningrad was one of the World Cup’s best games so far, after Xherdan Shaqiri scored a last-minute winner to hand the Swiss a comeback victory.
Serbia’s Aleksandar Mitrovic had given his team the lead in the fifth minute when he headed home, but an end-to-end game saw Granit Xhaka level with a thunderous drive from the edge of the box before Shaqiri raced free from the half-way line to slot past Vladimir Stojkovic.
After the game, Schmeichel said it had been an encounter to relish for football fans.
“I think this is one of the best games we’ve seen so far in terms of excitement and action, it was very much end to end stuff,” the former Danish international said.
He praised Serbia in defeat, saying that they had perhaps been affected tactically by the team’s full-blooded approach which saw them pick up several bookings in the first half.
“Serbia lost but they’re not a bad team, very well organized, they play a bit too hard for the referee’s liking, in the first half three midfielders got booked, then the manager had to react and take one off.
“They sat back a little, and Switzerland, which is a solid team, Shaqiri is a big star, but apart from that they are all on the same level, they played as a team, as we saw against Brazil, they kept plucking away.”
Arsenal midfielder Xhaka struck the equalizer with a thunderous goal in the 52nd minute – which Schmeichel said was unstoppable for Serbia ‘keeper Stojkovic.
“The equalizing goal, what a goal that was by the way, Xhaka, from Arsenal, look at this for a finish, you think the keeper should save it, but it comes from a crowd, and it has so much spin on the ball, it comes through a crowd and the keeper couldn’t pick it up, the ball got stuck in the net there was so much spin on it, what a goal that was.”
That set the stage for Switzerland’s push for victory, which was capped when Shaqiri raced clear in the 90th minute to score – celebrating by ripping his shirt off and getting booked in the process.
“He got a booking, it wasn’t a great sight… in a tournament like this it’s a silly thing to do,” Schmeichel said.
The Great Dane was excited by the prospect of a blockbuster final day in Group E on Wednesday, when three teams will battle for the two qualifying spots.
Serbia take on Brazil in Moscow, while Switzerland play a Costa Rica team that already has no hope of making the knockout stages.
“This is just a tough group… boy do we have excitement,” Schmeichel said.