Switzerland's 2-1 win against Serbia puts them into second place in Group E. The Swiss will advance to the round of 16 if they beat Costa Rica on Wednesday in Nizhny Novgorod. Serbia will face Brazil in Moscow at the same time.

Switzerland fans celebrate after the Serbia vs Switzerland match in Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad, Russia on June 22, 2018.
Switzerland fans celebrate after the Serbia vs Switzerland match in Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad, Russia on June 22, 2018. (Reuters)

Switzerland took a huge step towards the last 16 of the World Cup as they scored a last-minute winner against Serbia. Also Coutinho and Neymar's late goals during the stoppage time handed a win to Brazil, this meant the end of the road for Costa Rica.

Switzerland hit back with a thunderous strike by Granit Xhaka and a last-minute breakaway goal by Xherdan Shaqiri to claim a famous 2-1 win over Serbia on Friday in a daring World Cup Group E match. 

The Swiss looked in danger of being over-run when Serbia went ahead with an Aleksandar Mitrovic header after five minutes to the delight of their devout supporters at the Kaliningrad stadium.

Xhaka silenced the Serbian contingent in the 52nd minute, however, when he rifled home a loose ball in spectacular style from 25 metres before Shaqiri ran onto a through ball and finished confidently to win the game.

Xhaka and Shaqiri are among several members of the Swiss squad who are of Kosovar heritage, which added an extra dimension to the match.

Serbia refuses to recognise the independence of its former province Kosovo which broke away 10 years ago.

"It's clear that emotions were displayed up and I think we all need to steer away from politics and focus on this sport as a beautiful game that brings people together," Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic told reporters.

There was also controversy in the 65th minute when Mitrovic appeared to be held down as he went for a cross but the referee waved play on and there was no video review.

"This is football, we did not convert some of our chances," Serbia coach Mladen Krstajic said. "Whether this was a penalty or not, I will not comment on that.

"We’re in a situation where we need a win against Brazil on and we will focus and do whatever we can to try and win. Nothing is impossible in life."

TRT World's Paul Scott reports from Moscow.

The win puts Switzerland into second place in Group E with four points, the same as Brazil. The Swiss will advance to the round of 16 if they beat Costa Rica on Wednesday in Nizhny Novgorod. Serbia will face Brazil in Moscow at the same time.

Brazil left it very late, but posted their first win of the World Cup thanks to Philippe Coutinho and Neymar to go top of Group E.

Work still needs to be done for Brazil, the five-time world champions, to make the last 16, but a point in their final game against Serbia will do after the Serbs lost 2-1 to Switzerland.

In group D Ahmed Musa struck twice to hand Nigeria a 2-0 win over Iceland and keep Argentina's chances of qualifying alive before the two sides meet in Saint Petersburg next week.

Nigeria's win over Iceland means second spot in Group D is very much up for grabs.

Argentina play Nigeria and Iceland face already qualified Croatia in the final round on Tuesday, with Nigeria holding a two-point advantage in second place. Despite collecting just a point so far, Argentina will go through with a win as long as Iceland fail to beat Croatia, or Jorge Sampaoli's men can outscore Iceland's margin of victory.

Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia could all still claim first place in the group with a win on Wednesday. 

Serbia must beat Brazil in their final game to qualify without relying on the result of the Swiss game against Costa Rica, who have been eliminated after losing their first two games.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies