Switzerland Through Despite Penalty Drama Against Costa Rica

REUTERS  Mariana Bazo

REUTERS Mariana Bazo

Kendall Waston was thrilled to make his mark at "the best football party in the world" after scoring for Costa Rica in their 2-2 draw with Switzerland.

Their absence leaves two gaping holes to be filled at the back as Switzerland chases a place in the quarterfinals of the World Cup for the first time since 1954.

"During the second half we were able to correct that and to pressure. This is very disappointing".

Costa Rica snatched a dramatic point against Switzerland - but the Swiss still qualify for the next round after placing second in Group E.

Switzerland, who were unbeaten in the group stage, will now face Sweden for a place in the quarter-finals on Tuesday in St. Petersburg.

An emotional coach Ramirez said the "Ticos" had played more adventurously in their "farewell match" with the pressure off. "It's too bad for those two guys but it's too late now to lament that and correct that".

The game appeared to be petering out but there was still time for a insane final few minutes.

Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri and Stephan Lichtsteiner will all be available for selection after avoiding bans for their celebrations after the winning goal against Serbia.

Thierry Henry and Romelu Lukaku console Japan players after Belgium comeback
While Honda was dignified in defeat, Japan are entitled to feel they deserved better after a superbly disciplined performance. The coach made the changes because he wanted more power in the middle and we managed to bring that.

Costa Rica managed to steal a point in the third minute of injury time, though, when Zakaria brought down Campbell inside the area.

After withstanding early pressure, the Swiss took a 31st minute lead against the run of play when forward Blerim Dzemaili blasted past Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas from close range following a nod down from Breel Embolo.

I don't know why but Costa Rica is a team that is quite liked overseas.

Sommer was then on hand to keep the scores level, saving a Joel Campbell strike before making a superb stop from Celso Borges' header.

The team that stunned the World Cup in Brazil four years ago by topping a group containing England, Italy and Uruguay finished bottom this time. It didn't come easy for after a 1-1 draw with Switzerland in its opening game.

Paulinho and Thiago Silva both scored in Brazil's win.

While Switzerland went in ahead at half-time despite being largely outplayed, they started the second period in the same lethargic way as the first.

In the 1/8 finals Switzerland are waiting for a match with an unexpected victor of group F against Sweden.

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