Swiss breach Fortress Russia
© Getty Images

Russia allowed just five goals during the group stages, a performance that was better than that of any other Dubai 2009 competitor. But Switzerland seemed to have cracked the code this evening.

As soon as the national anthems concluded, the Swiss team gave a coordinated war shout that seemed to reflect the seriousness of their intentions. An early direct kick put the Swiss in front and granted Dejan Stankovic the top slot in the running for the adidas Golden Shoe. Alexey Makarov found the back of the net seconds after the second period began, but Stankovic answered almost immediately with a crisp shot that was too much for goalkeeper Andrey Bukhlitskiy.

Dmitry Shishin had a bullet of a direct-kick turned away, before scoring after having the ball handed to him on a silver platter. Once again, it was Stankovic in response, blasting home an overhead kick moments after an earlier effort slapped off the crossbar. The squads traded goals as camera-men on both ends went on high alert, shot after shot screeching their way. Both came close as the Swiss held on for the win.

Switzerland have reached the semi-finals and on Saturday at 21:00 (local time) shall face the winner of today’s quarter-final match between Uruguay and Spain. Russia can leave Dubai proud of their performance.