The political meaning behind Shaqiri's celebration against Serbia

The political meaning behind Shaqiri's celebration against Serbia

Xherdan Shaqiri's last minute victor capped an impressive comeback for the Swiss in an eventful Group E encounter in Kaliningrad after Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka levelled following Aleksandar Mitrovic's opener.

The Arsenal star scored Switzerland's first goal with a thumping long-range effort before celebrating vigorously with a "double eagle" gesture - the symbol of Albania.

But the best of the drama was saved until the 90th minute, when Serbian defender Dusko Tosic made a massive error - stepping up in his own half to leave Xherdan Shaqiri through on goal, the Stoke man racing through on goal and finishing calmly to give his side the victor to an epic encounter. Shaqiri was born in Kosovo to Kosovar Albanian parents.

After holding off Brazil in their opening contest, Switzerland will be eager to pick up their first win at the expense of Serbia. Serbia doesn't recognize Kosovo's independence and relations between the two countries remain tense. "In football, you have always emotions". "You can see what I did and I think it's just emotion".

"You should never mix politics and football, it's good to be a fan and important to show respect", he told reporters after the game.

Switzerland, who came to Russian Federation ranked ahead of the likes of France and Spain, felt their way into the game as the first-half progressed.

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Group G - Tunisia vs England - Volgograd Arena, Volgograd, Russia - June 18, 2018 England's Harry Kane celebrates after the match. If we are to go far, we have to win games like that and teams who do well need last-minute goals or last-minute saves.

Later, teammate Xherdan Shaqiri replicated the same gesture after his winning goal in the 90th minute, but not as intensely as Xhaka. Politicians in Switzerland and Serbia had their say, too, in the matter.

Unlike Croatia, who had erected a "cage" for Lionel Messi on the inside-right area of midfield, Serbia's central players had to deal with a much more varied threat. It's a wonderful atmosphere and positive emotions and that's what football should be about. "I am a man of sports, and this is what I'm going to stay being".

Shaqiri clipped the post with a shot as Switzerland pushed on for a victor, but it was Serbia who felt hard done by shortly afterwards when Alexsandar Mitrovic was given the Harry Kane treatment, held down by both Fabian Schar and Stephan Lichtsteiner in the box only for the referee to wave away his claims for a penalty.

After a pulsating affair at the Kaliningrad Stadium, Serbia are on the brink of elimination after Switzerland triumphed 2-1 in Group E.

Serbia had chances to score more before halftime.

Serbia had a glorious chance to regain the lead 20 minutes from time when Aleksandar Kolarov delivered a sensational low cross into the Switzerland box, but Mitrovic just could not make contact at the far post.

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