Switzerland will be without Stephan Lichtsteiner and Fabian Schar in next week's World Cup knockout match against Sweden after being booked against Costa Rica but coach Vladimir Petkovic has no regrets about having fielded them in their last group match.
Swiss captain Lichtsteiner and his defensive partner Schar both collected a second caution of the tournament in the 2-2 draw at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium and miss Tuesday's match in St Petersburg in a blow to Swiss hopes.
"We were not sure of the scenario we needed to qualify so I wanted to field my best players and make sure that all of them play. The round of 16 was the minimum objective that we set ourselves to achieve," Petkovic said, explaining why he fielded players already sitting on one yellow card in a game against a team already eliminated from the tournament.
"They were fouls committed way away from our defensive area which is unfortunate but then we have 23 players in our squad and I'm happy to trust the remaining players.
"I'm sure all of the players we field in the future will give 120 per cent and I think the team can cope. It's too bad for those two guys but it's too late to lament that now."
Wednesday’s draw meant Switzerland finished second in Group E, behind Brazil, but avoided playing Mexico next and looked pleased to be up against Sweden instead.
But in order to win, Petkovic warned his side would have to vastly improve on Wednesday’s lacklustre showing against Costa Rica.
"First of all we have to perform better, like we did in our first two matches. We are quite ambitious, we want more and more as we move along and it is very important to show that also and I have no doubt at all that we can perform better against Sweden," he added.
Tunisia left with just one keeper after FIFA refuse appeal
Tunisia will start third-choice goalkeeper Aymen Mathlouthi and have striker Fakhreddine Ben Youssef act as his back-up in their final World Cup game against Panama on Thursday after FIFA rejected their request to add a replacement keeper to the squad.
Tunisia's first and second choice keepers are unavailable after picking up injuries at the tournament and they flew Moez Ben Cherifia from champions Esperance to Moscow on Wednesday in the hope he might be allowed to be included in the squad.
However, the Tunisian Football Federation said on Thursday that this request had been rejected by FIFA and they would have to use the players currently in the squad.
Tunisia lost first-choice goalkeeper Mouez Hassen after just 16 minutes of their first game against England when he injured his shoulder in a collision with Jesse Lingard.
Farouk Ben Mustapha took his place in the 2-1 defeat in Volgograd and also played in the 5-2 loss to Belgium in Moscow before suffering knee ligament damage in training on Tuesday.
FIFA allow injury replacements in the World Cup only up until 24 hours before a team’s first game.