Saucy Swiss assist vs. Serbia seals spot in Round of 16 for Switzerland

Switzerland defeated Serbia 3-2 on Friday in an incredibly feisty affair that had fights and one incredibly saucy goal. Switzerland realistically only needed a draw to join Brazil and advance out of Group G.

The first half saw four goals (two from each team) in a wildly competitive affair. Switzerland’s game-winning goal was scored in the 48th minute by Remo Freuler, but it was all about the backheel assist from Ruben Vargas.

This goal won’t win the best in the tournament, but it’s definitely a top 10 contender.

Ruben Vargas Assist vs Serbia


They don’t come much prettier than that. To have the skill and confidence to pull off that kind of pass in such a big game is remarkable. It’s no wonder more Swiss players went to celebrate the goal with the assister rather than the scorer.

Vargas’ assist was the cherry on top of a back-and-forth game. Serbia came into the game knowing a draw wouldn’t be enough to advance. Despite Switzerland only needing a draw they came out swinging and opened the scoring in the 20th minute.

Major League Soccer and Chicago Fire star Xherdan Shaqiri got the first goal.

The Swiss celebrations only lasted six minutes before Serbia’s Aleksandar Mitrovic tied things up with a great headed goal.

Nine minutes later Serbia took the lead and the game had done a complete 180.

Breel Embolo, Switzerland’s top scorer at the 2022 World Cup, tied things back up right before halftime for a huge sigh of Swiss relief.

These two sides had a heated battle in the 2018 World Cup when Switzerland downed Serbia 2-1. Those old feelings and tensions rose late in the second half with several skirmishes.

In the end it will be Brazil and Switzerland advancing from Group E meaning we have a full Round of 16 bracket. Brazil will play South Korea on Monday, Dec. 5 at 2 p.m. ET and Switzerland will play Portugal on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. ET.

If you entered The18’s World Cup Bracket Challenge or you’re just now hearing about it, you can fill out a second chance bracket with all of the 16 teams that advanced.

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