Xhaka and Shaqiri score for Swiss, make Albanian symbol

Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku

Switzerland's World Cup win over Serbia in Kaliningrad has been overshadowed by celebrations made by the two Swiss goalscorers, Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri, both of whom are of ethnic Albanian descent.

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.

Speaking through an interpreter, he says: "We will tell them we had a great match against Brazil".

Granit Xhaka gave Switzerland an equalizer against Serbia in the 52nd minute Friday with a brilliant strike from long range - but the replays showed that the attempt at goal likely should have been blocked by Serbia's Branislav Ivanovic.

Meanwhile, Shaqiri was born in Kosovo when it was part of the former Yugoslavia and emigrated to Switzerland with his family. Relations between Serbia and Kosovo have remained fraught, as Serbia refuses to recognize its former province as an independent nation.

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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.

"I'm not into politics", he said, also speaking through an interpreter. "We're here for sports to represent our country in the best possible way and we're not at all interested in anything else".

Switzerland will be full of confidence after holding World Cup heavyweight Brazil to a draw in Rostov-on-Don. At training Thursday, he wore football boots with Kosovo's flag on his right heel and the Swiss flag on his left.

Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic hoped the gestures wouldn't detract from the team's performance. There was, nevertheless, plenty for Serbia to be pleased about, with Mitrovic particularly impressive in the air.

But it is not just the Swiss hatchet man's tackling ability that makes him such an invaluable player to this Swiss side, he also brings an air of composure to the midfield and compliments this with his brilliant passing ability, as he only misplaced three passes against Brazil. "I hail from Zenica", Krstajic said.