The Roar
The Roar

Lucas Gillard

Roar Guru

Joined April 2018

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Stats hungry sports nerd who supports Carlton, the Socceroos, the Carolina Panthers and cold-hard-facts. Follow me on Twitter @ljgillard

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If it’s any consolation, it is an issue that effects other nations.

Switzerland basically had no teeth in their round of 16 game against Switzerland. So many balls whipped into the box that were cleared with ease by the Swedes.

Germany look ineffectual in games were Timo Werner doesn’t show up (which was, basically, the entire tournament).

Most countries would KILL for a player like Lukaku who can link play as well as convert.

What the stats say about the Socceroos' failure to convert

Ahh Robbie Kruse…. the most blameable man in world sport.

What the stats say about the Socceroos' failure to convert

Yes this one – appallingly bad penalty!!

Russia vs Croatia: 2018 FIFA World Cup highlights, scores, blog

That first Russian penalty – Smolov I think (?) – WHAT was he thinking there!!??? A panenka hit into a corner??

That has to be one of the brain fades of the cup.

Croatia vs Russia: Match report

There was one on FourFourTwo about getting the fullbacks too far forward…. that effectively created Peru’s two scoring chances.

….. I can’t find the article though – and the article I THOUGHT contained this argument doesn’t.

Perhaps it came to me in a fevered waking dream as a byproduct of sleep deprivation.

What the stats say about the Socceroos' failure to convert

I reckon the early Peru goal pretty much ruined BvM’s game theory RE Arzani. It was clear in this selections that he was probably hoping to get to the hour mark and then go for it with an open game. Therefore we needed to still keep our defensive shape until the hour.

After that early goal It closed the game down and diminished the impact Arzani might have had.

Incidentally if you look at the heat maps and compare them in the Denmark and Peru games, the only real difference was that our fullbacks got higher up the pitch. Alas Peru’s two goals were manufactured in the wide spaces. I’ve read analyses that he could have been MORE defensive against Peru to get to the 60th minute at 0-0… and that theory definitely has legs.

What the stats say about the Socceroos' failure to convert

Ultimately you create chances to shoot which are converted or not. You’re right – we converted none. The question is – is that because our play was poor, our chances made were low quality or do we just need to find better forwards?

Those questions will be important for Graham Arnold to have answers for – especially as he generally favours the same 4-2-3-1 that BvM employed.

What the stats say about the Socceroos' failure to convert

MATCH SUMMARY

Sweden win this game with a lucky strike from their star Emil Forsberg in the 66th minute that took a wicked deflection off Swiss defender Manuel Akanji.

It wasn’t a pretty game, and both teams battled to impose their style and create meaningful opportunities. Neither side was able to emulate their brighter moments from the Group stage; in particular Switzerland who struggled to create value out of their overwhelming weight of possession (68% vs Sweden’s 32%).

This wasn’t a vintage Swedish forward performance by any means, but their goal was well taken (albeit very fortunate). Forsberg drifted in and out of this game but was able to find enough space for the shot which turned out to be enough to settle this match.

Swiss didn’t seem to be equipped or set-up to exploit the enormous weight of possession they had. Sweden was always going to give the ball to Switzerland, but the Swiss wasted their possession by trying too often to whip crosses into their smaller forwards – Drmic for much of the game – who was never going to be able to outjump or outshine the big Swedish defenders.

The second half in particular was a real test of Swiss skill and patience, as the Swedish midfield block – martialled by Albin Ekdal – allowed little space or time on the ball for the creative Swiss midfielders to put through their forwards into dangerous positions. Switzerland had 11 corners in this game, but each one was cleared with relative ease by the Swedes who had enough bodies in the box to also block the countless shots from those clearances. Goalkeeper Robin Olsen was tested, but was imperious in goal and is in red-hot form in this World Cup.

Ultimately the story of this tournament for Switzerland was indeed their inability to capitalise on their approach play, and the absence of a top shelf forward capable of finishing off the great work of elite midfielders like Shaqiri and Xhaka. This game will be used as exhibit A for that analysis in Swiss post mortems. In the end the Swiss striker – Drmic – next to no impact in a game dominated by the Swedish central defenders Lindelof and captain Granqvist.

The best – and only real – chance came from Dzemili in the first half and after that was skied over the bar after some clever approach play. Alas for Switzerland they were unable to create another chance like that for the rest of the game.

Breel Embolo – who came in that second half – offered some run and industry on the left hand side – getting into the box in a handful of cases but ran into a wall of Swedes on each occasion. On reflection starting with Embolo added a ground-threat to the Swedes and put them on the back foot, but this was a poor tactical game for Swiss manager Vladiimir Petkovic who’s plan A was nullified with ease by the Swedes.

There will be dancing in the streets of Stockholm tonight. The Swedes are into their first quarter final of a World Cup since their Semi Final run in USA 1994. They will now face the winner of today’s late game between England and Colombia.

The big concerns out of this will be Emil Forsberg, who looked ginger coming off late in that second half, and seems to have picked up a knock. Right back Mikael Lustig of Celtic will definitely miss after picking up his second yellow card of the tournament, but one feels that Forsberg’s spark will be harder to replace than a defender.

But Sweden go through tonight in an armwrestle – and a bit of a let down after the excitement of the other knockout games in this World Cup – winning 1-0.

Sweden vs Switzerland: 2018 FIFA World Cup highlights, live scores, blog

FULL TIME

SWEDEN wins this 1-0!

There’s late drama as a penalty to Sweden is overturned by VAR as the challenge was made just outside the box – but it’s immaterial for the Swedes. Toivonen batters his free kick, and it’s saved, but the referee calls fulltime seconds later.

So Sweden go through here into a Quarterfinal, and will face either England or Colombia.

Switzerland had their chances but were toothless in front of goal and could not break down the Swedish defense with any great intelligence.

Sweden vs Switzerland: 2018 FIFA World Cup highlights, live scores, blog

94′ – PENALTY TO SWEDEN! and a RED CARD to Lang!

The Swiss have everyone forward and Olsson breaks and Lang takes him down when he’s through on goal.

VAR reviews the location of the challenge and it’s just outside. The red card stands but it’s a free kick now inside the D

Sweden vs Switzerland: 2018 FIFA World Cup highlights, live scores, blog

93′ – Everyone is back here for Sweden! A clearance hits the ref and plays Embolo in but they still can’t produce any quality with the final ball!

Sweden vs Switzerland: 2018 FIFA World Cup highlights, live scores, blog

92′ – Shaqiri runs the wide right space with urgency but his cross goes nowhere. They haven’t learned a thing in this game!

Sweden vs Switzerland: 2018 FIFA World Cup highlights, live scores, blog

91′ – SAVE FROM OLSEN! Fantastic save! Seferovic gets his head on the end of a cross but his low shot is stopped with command from the Swedish keeper.

Sweden vs Switzerland: 2018 FIFA World Cup highlights, live scores, blog

3 minutes of extra time as we pass the 90 here in St. Petersburg

Sweden vs Switzerland: 2018 FIFA World Cup highlights, live scores, blog

The Swiss are going home if they can’t find something here!

The Swedes are milking the clock for everything they can. Another SUB for them as Berg goes off for Thelin

Sweden vs Switzerland: 2018 FIFA World Cup highlights, live scores, blog

87′ – The pressure is intense here from Switzerland but they cannot find a an avenue to goal.

Sweden break and win a CORNER but it’s largely an excuse to waste time for the Swedes

Sweden vs Switzerland: 2018 FIFA World Cup highlights, live scores, blog

85′ – Switzerland are PEPPERING the Swedish goal here to no avail! Their 11th CORNER was cleared by Olsen before another long range shot from Rodriguez is BLOCKED by a sea of Swedes

Sweden vs Switzerland: 2018 FIFA World Cup highlights, live scores, blog

There are 6 minutes + left here for Switzerland in this tournament if they can’t find the equaliser!

Sweden vs Switzerland: 2018 FIFA World Cup highlights, live scores, blog

83′ – Another enterprising run from Embolo on the left is broken up inside the box by the Swedes. They are hanging on here as Switzerland throw everything at them in the last 10 minutes.

Sweden vs Switzerland: 2018 FIFA World Cup highlights, live scores, blog

81′ – And it looks like Forsberg is off. He walks off gingerly and might have picked up a knock.

In fact it’s a double SUBSTITUTION for Sweden. Forsberg and Lustig are off – Lustig is limping off as well – and Olsson and Krafth are on

Sweden vs Switzerland: 2018 FIFA World Cup highlights, live scores, blog

81′ – SAVED by Olsen from a long range shot / cross from Shaqiri

Sweden vs Switzerland: 2018 FIFA World Cup highlights, live scores, blog

80′ – CLEARED off the line from yet another CORNER. This corner is pointed into a crop of Swiss players but the header is cleared off the line by Forsberg

Sweden vs Switzerland: 2018 FIFA World Cup highlights, live scores, blog

78′ – It’s the 9th CORNER for Switzerland here, but they just can’t find any love inside the box with this big Swedish defence.

But the approach play from Embolo creates that chance, running into the box from the left to force the corner.

Sweden vs Switzerland: 2018 FIFA World Cup highlights, live scores, blog

76′ – Good chance for Claesson and he can’t find his balance inside the box to get a shot off, and ends up just falling over!

Sweden vs Switzerland: 2018 FIFA World Cup highlights, live scores, blog

Double SUBSTITUTION for the Swiss – two forwards Embolo and Seferovic are on for Zuber and Dzemili

Sweden vs Switzerland: 2018 FIFA World Cup highlights, live scores, blog