When Swiss midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri scored a 90th-minute victor against Serbia in their group E match at the World Cup on Saturday morning there was a hidden, or not-so-hidden, message behind his celebration.
Both Shaqiri and Xhaka pointedly celebrated their goals by making an eagle gesture with their hands, viewed as a symbol of defiance.
The Swiss looked in danger of being over-run when Serbia went ahead with an Aleksandar Mitrovic header after five minutes to the delight of their fervent supporters at the Kaliningrad stadium.
Shaqiri also played in boots marked with the flags of Switzerland and Kosovo - the breakaway region that is not recognized as independent by Serbia or Russian Federation. His family, like Shaqiri's, hail from Kosovo, whose independence is not recognised by Serbia for historic reasons.
"I'm not into politics", he said, also speaking through an interpreter.
Kosovo, a former Serbian province, declared its independence in 2008. You can see what I did, and it's just emotion, and I'm just happy to have scored the goal.
"It's clear that emotions were displayed up and I think we all need to steer away from politics and focus on this sport as a handsome game that brings people together", Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic told reporters.
"I hope that people will take notice of us and take us seriously". Against Switzerland, he is likely to be the key player once again.
Switzerland snatched a last-gasp victor against Switzerland on Friday night, Stoke City's Xherdan Shaqiri keeping their dream of qualifying well and truly alive.
Serbia coach Mladen Krstajic was equally reluctant to be drawn into the debate.
Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia could all still claim first place in the group with a win on Wednesday.
Unlike Croatia, who had erected a "cage" for Lionel Messi on the inside-right area of midfield, Serbia's central players had to deal with a much more varied threat. I am a man of sports and this is what I am going to stay. "It's a wonderful atmosphere and a positive experience and that's what football should be about".
Serbia had chances to score more before halftime.
If Switzerland lose by one goal and Serbia draw, goals scored becomes the tiebreaker; through two games, the Swiss lead 3-2.
The result left Brazil, 2-0 winners over Costa Rica, top with four points, ahead of Switzerland on goal difference with Serbia on three.
Shaqiri had been booed relentlessly by Serbia fans during the high-quality match, but had the last laugh with his last ditch victor.