Peter Schmeichel says Sweden’s deflected goal which earned them a World Cup win over Switzerland and a place in the quarter-finals was “lucky,” but added the Swedes won’t mind how they booked their place in the last eight.
Sweden ran out 1-0 winners in St. Petersburg when Emil Forsberg’s strike on 66 minutes deflected off the right boot of Swiss defender Manuel Akanji and into the net.
Former Denmark goalkeeper Schmeichel said the nature of the goal was somewhat fortunate, as Swiss ‘keeper Yann Sommer had the ball covered.
“You have to feel really sorry for (Manuel) Akanji, who deflected the ball past Yann Sommer,” Schmeichel said.
“Forsberg hit it quite well... but it would have gone straight to Yann Sommer, he would have saved it easily.
“He’s actually been one of the best goalkeepers at this tournament, he made a couple of really good saves in this game… he would have just picked this ball up,” the former Manchester United player added.
“This is what happens when you stick your foot out to try to block the shot.
“So very unfortunate, very lucky for Sweden, they scored the goal, winning the game on that and now in the in the quarter-finals. That really is a fantastic result for Sweden,” he added.
With the result, Sweden booked their place in the last eight of the World Cup for the first time since 1994, when they went on to finish third.
The Swedes were denied a chance to double their lead deep into injury time, when a penalty was initially awarded by referee Damir Skomina when Swiss defender Michael Lang pushed over Martin Olsson with the Swede bearing down on goal. However, the decision was reversed to a free-kick with the help of VAR – although Lang still received his marching orders.
The game ended 1-0, but Schmeichel said the scoreline and gritty nature of the win in a game characterized by poor finishing would matter little to the army of Swedish fans in Russia and back home.
“I can tell you 100 percent, the Swedish people don’t care, they won 1-0, they are in the quarter-finals,” Schmeichel said.
Sweden will now face the winners of the England versus Colombia game in Moscow later on Tuesday.