Unfortunately, it was against his own team.
A shot by the Swedish team ricocheted off of Akanji’s foot, deflecting it into the corner of the net. Had his foot not touched the ball, it’s likely that the goalie for Switzerland, Yann Sommer, would have caught the ball for the save.
After the game, with the heartbreaking realization that Akanji's mistake cost his nation advancement to the next round, Swedish players displayed an immense amount of sportsmanship, surrounding Akanji and consoling him.
Respect.??— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) July 3, 2018
Swedish players console Akanji, whose deflection ended up being the difference in the game. pic.twitter.com/r5rwuIsB6r
Fans were quick to recognize the good sportsmanship displayed by Sweden and reacted on social media accordingly.
The Swedish have been sporting all tournament. Fair play should be based on acts like this, not just cards. https://t.co/CZlUiq1w0u— Zachary Himes (@zhimes97) July 3, 2018
With some bad stories coming out of the World Cup demonstrating the worst of what the host nation has to offer, it’s good to see that the sport itself is showcasing positive messages of compassion and sympathy.
Swedish players consoling an opposing player, whose mistake cost him and his team the game, is an aspect of the World Cup we shouldn’t soon forget. It deserves to be shown to young players, to demonstrate the attitude that should be replicated in all sports at every level.