Sweden reached the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time in 24 years after Emil Forsberg’s deflected shot earned a scrappy 1-0 win over Switzerland on Tuesday.
This was far from a classic at the Saint Petersburg Stadium and if Colombia or England’s players were watching on from Moscow, they could be forgiven for feeling bullish about their prospects in the last eight.
Switzerland’s Michael Lang was sent off in injury-time for a last-ditch push on Martin Olsson and referee Damir Skomina downgraded his penalty to a free-kick on the edge of the area. But the game was already up.
Forsberg’s second-half strike, which deflected off the unfortunate Manuel Akanji, means Sweden are through to the World Cup last eight for the first time since 1994 in the United States.
Their route to the quarters has not been easy and, what they have lost in the individual brilliance of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, they appear to have gained in grit, determination and collective spirit.
Their next opponents would be foolish to take them lightly.