Did you see Shaqiri and Xhaka's controversial celebrations against Serbia — Albanian Eagle

Virginia Santiago
June 23, 2018

The coach Krstajic is referring to is Vladimir Petkovic, who is hopeful star Valon Behrami is fit to play amid concerns over a thigh problem.

His performance will be just one of the reasons why they will go into their final group match against Brazil with hope.

Switzerland worked their best chance of the half on 30 minutes - Blerim Dzemaili darting onto Steven Zuber's cross but wasn't able to make enough contact to beat Vladimir Stojkovic with a leaping toe poke while under pressure.

Aleksandar Mitrovic scored for Serbia with a header in the fifth minute.

Several players on the Swiss team have roots in Albanian Kosovo, the former Serbian province that declared its independence in 2008. Serbia does not recognize Kosovo's independence and relations between the two countries remain tense.

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Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic said Thursday his Serbia side were ready for a "hellish" clash against Switzerland in a crunch Group E encounter tinged with political tension.

Serbian coach Mladen Krstajic refused to talk about the celebrations after the game.

"I'm not into politics", he said, also speaking through an interpreter.

Shaqiri makes no secret at his pride for his heritage at the World Cup.

Both Xhaka and Shaqiri performed matching celebrations following their goals, interlocking their fingers in a gesture celebrating Albania. He has the flags of Switzerland and Kosovo tattooed on his left arm.

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One sub-plot to watch out for could be the Serbian fans' treatment of Switzerland's three players with links to Kosovo.

"If they are such great patriots, why don't they play for their own countries instead of Switzerland?".

Imperious in the air, Mitrovic has been sensational since the turn of the year, and this evening the bullish marksman demonstrated exactly why he has received such widespread praise in recent months.

Serbia were making all the forays in and around the offensive third.

"I think that Mr. Petkovic is from Sarajevo". "So we have two coaches from Bosnia-Herzegovina representing different teams at the World Cup".

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