Switzerland beat Serbia 3-2 in an incident-packed match on Friday to set up a last-16 meeting with Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal.The Swiss finished second in Group G behind Brazil, whose much-changed side lost 1-0 against Cameroon but the South Americans still go through to play South Korea.
Xherdan Shaqiri’s deflected strike put the Swiss ahead but Aleksandar Mitrovic’s fine header brought Serbia level at Stadium 974.
Dusan Vlahovic then gave Serbia the lead only for Breel Embolo to equalise before half-time.
Remo Freuler’s brilliant goal early in the second half sent the Swiss through to the knockout rounds for the fourth time in five World Cups.
Bad blood marred the meeting between the teams at the 2018 tournament, when Granit Xhaka and Shaqiri celebrated goals by making pro-Kosovo gestures that enraged the Serbs.
Tempers flared in the second half on Friday after Serbia appealed for a penalty, with the stadium announcer calling for an end to “all discriminatory chants and gestures” around 15 minutes later.
Switzerland, who had their destiny in their own hands, nearly struck inside 30 seconds but Embolo’s attempt was well blocked by Vanja Milinkovic-Savic, who palmed away the follow-up from Xhaka.
Serbia’s Andrija Zivkovic rattled the post from distance with a sweet curling effort and Vlahovic bundled the rebound straight into goalkeeper Gregor Kobel’s arms.