Preview - Switzerland vs Costa Rica 28 June 18

Started by Harry85, Jun 26, 2018, 05:16 PM

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Harry85

World Cup Group E
Switzerland vs Costa Rica
Thursday, June 28th, 2018
03:00am, (GMT +8 Timing)
Stadium: Nizhny Novgorod Stadium

Switzerland:
Last five matches form: W D W D W
Average goals per match last ten: 1.90
Average goals against per match last ten: 0.70
Top Scorer: Xherdan Shaqiri (21)

Costa Rica:
Last five matches form: W L L L L
Average goals per match last ten: 0.60
Average goals against per match last ten: 1.80
Top Scorer: Bryan Ruiz (24)

Switzerland have impressed at the World Cup to date. Firstly gaining an excellent draw against Brazil and then showing admirable resolve to come from behind to beat Serbia. Four points from two games leaves them in a very strong position and they merely need to avoid defeat here to ensure they will make it through to the knockout stages.

Costa Rica have nothing to show for their efforts, with the pre-tournament view that this was an ageing squad past its prime largely being borne out. They did come mightily close to earning a point against Brazil last time out though, only going down to two ninetieth minute strikes in the end. Motivation shouldn't be an issue as this will likely be the final World Cup appearance for a number of the squad so they perhaps shouldn't be dismissed entirely.

Costa Rica's results at the finals have only really been a continuation of a general malaise though. They have now lost eight of their last ten outings.

Switzerland in contrast have been a team on the up. Winning all bar one of their qualifying games, and only losing one of their past 19 overall. Now ranked sixth in the FIFA World Rankings, and with the motivation of gaining a place in the knockout stages, they should have too much here.


Prediction: Switzerland 2 - 0 Costa Rica

Harry85

Half time: 1 - 0
Full time: 2 - 2
Shots: 11 - 14
Shots on target: 5 - 8
Corner Kicks: 6 - 5
Possession: 62% - 38%

Both sides troubled referee Clement Turpin's notebook in this one. Stephan Lichsteiner, Denis Zakaria and Fabian Schaer receiving the yellow card for Switzerland, with Costa Rica's Cristian Gamboa, Joel Campbell and Kendall Watson doing likewise.

It was Costa Rica who nearly struck first in just the sixth minute. Celso Borges powerful header towards the bottom left corner being denied by a superb stop from Yann Sommer.

Four minutes later the Central American side came even closer. Daniel Colindres Solera's excellent curling effort from the corner of the eighteen-yard box thumping the underside of the crossbar before rebounding to safety.

Against the run of play it was Switzerland who took the lead in the 31st minute. Lichsteiner's cross to the far post being nodded back into the centre by Bree Embolo, and Blerim Dzemali arriving to volley home. 1-0 at half-time.

It took Costa Rica just eleven minutes to equalise in the second half. Joel Campbell's corner from the right finding the leaping Kendall Watson to head into the top left corner.

Having earlier came close when nodding a header against the post, Josip Drmic did give Switzerland a late lead when striking in the 88th minute. Embolo's low ball towards the penalty spot seeing Drmic run onto the ball to side foot into the bottom right corner.

Then in stoppage time Costa Rica were handed the opportunity to equalise when Joel Campbell was brought down in the area.

Bryan Ruiz hit the crossbar with the penalty kick, only for the ball to come down and rebound back into the net off the back of keeper Yann Sommer's head. 2-2 final score.



Switzerland have certainly played better than this but they did what they needed to do in the end and move on to what they will view as a very winnable last 16 clash against Sweden.


Costa Rica were already out ahead of this game, but having lost the first two games without scoring, they at least now have a point and a couple of goals to show for their efforts.



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