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WORLD CUP | Switzerland 3, Serbia 2

Switzerland beats Serbia to a spot in Round of 16

Remo Freuler celebrates after scoring the fifth and final goal of the match, giving Switzerland the lead for good.JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

DOHA, Qatar — Switzerland advanced to the last 16 of the World Cup for the third tournament in a row after a 3-2 win over Serbia on Friday.

Remo Freuler scored the winning goal just after halftime as the Swiss secured second place in Group G. They will next face Portugal on Tuesday at Lusail Stadium.

Freuler finished off a backheel pass from Ruben Vargas after Xherdan Shaqiri clipped a ball into the penalty box.

Shaqiri put Switzerland ahead early in the first half before Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dusan Vlahovic responded for Serbia. Breel Embolo evened the score just before halftime.


Switzerland needed a win to guarantee itself a place in the knockout round after beating Cameroon and losing to Brazil in its opening two games. The team reached the round of 16 at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and again four years later in Russia. They lost 1-0 in both matches, to Argentina and Sweden, respectively.

Against Portugal, the Swiss will be looking to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since hosting the competition in 1954.

Switzerland and Serbia met in the group stage for the second straight World Cup. The Swiss also won in 2018 after a last-minute goal from Shaqiri.

Mitrovic scored his 52nd international goal to extend his record as Serbia’s leading scorer.