Switzerland's Ricardo Rodriguez, top and Switzerland's Manuel Akanji react after their team lost the round of 16 match between Switzerland and Sweden at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the St. Petersburg Stadium, in St. Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, July 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Switzerland's dismal record in knockout stages endures

July 03, 2018 - 12:40 pm

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Switzerland's dismal record in the knockout stages of major tournaments continued with a 1-0 defeat by Sweden.

The Swiss have not reached the World Cup quarterfinals since 1954 and they played Tuesday in St. Petersburg weighed down by that history.

Switzerland, ranked No. 6 in the world and favorite going into Tuesday's round of 16 match, was eliminated by a deflected shot from Emil Forsberg, but it was also a victim of its own overcautious play.

Switzerland had conceded first in both of its first two matches in Russia but managed to draw 1-1 with Brazil and beat Serbia 2-1. It drew 2-2 with Costa Rica in the group finale after twice taking the lead.

Against the well-drilled Sweden defense, there was no coming back.

The Switzerland team was made up largely of the same players who lost in the round of 16 to Argentina at the 2014 World Cup, and to Poland in the same stage at the 2016 European Championship.

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