Home Sports Euro 2020: Spain beats Switzerland in nail-biting penalty shootout to reach semifinals

Euro 2020: Spain beats Switzerland in nail-biting penalty shootout to reach semifinals

Mikel Oyarzabal scored the decisive penalty after a shootout of low high quality — Switzerland missed 4 of its 5 makes an attempt.

For a lot of the match, Spain appeared to be breezing into the final 4 of the competitors with none hassle. It took an early lead after Denis Zakaria’s unlucky personal purpose, however struggled to deal with a late Switzerland flurry.

Just as the sport started tapering off in the second half, Swiss talisman Xherdan Shaqiri fired again with an equalizer in the 68th minute after an error in the Spain protection.

Momentum then swung in Switzerland’s favor, however the pleasure was quick lived. Remo Freuler was proven a questionable purple card in the 77th minute, leaving 10-man Switzerland to maintain out for penalties by way of extra-time — with the match ending 1-1.

Mikel Oyarzabal celebrates his side's victory in the penalty shootout.

Another personal purpose

Both sides got here into the tie off the again of dramatic, and exhausting, spherical of 16 matches.

Spain edged previous Croatia in extra-time on Monday, successful 5-3 in an epic tie, while Switzerland shocked reigning world champion France with victory on penalties.

Switzerland’s heroics appeared to have taken an excessive amount of out of the staff because it struggled to impose itself in a comparatively subdued first half in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Without typical captain Granit Xhaka, who was banned after selecting up a yellow card towards France, the staff appeared content material on sitting again and absorbing waves of Spanish assault.

Unsurprisingly, it was Spain which made the breakthrough after 8 minutes, albeit by way of lucky circumstances.

Jordi Alba’s strike from exterior the field took a depraved deflection off Zakaria and the ball flew previous goalkeeper Yann Sommer, who was stranded diving the incorrect method.

Incredibly, it was the tenth personal purpose scored on the event, yet another than at every of the earlier 15 European Championships mixed.

Things received worse for Switzerland as its important attacking risk Breel Embolo was pressured off the pitch with a hamstring harm with a bit of over 20 minutes performed.

Chances had been few and much between in the match with Spain completely dominating proceedings after halftime.

But, simply when a Spain win appeared inevitable, Switzerland’s Shaqiri capitalized on a defensive mix-up to sweep residence an equalizer in the 68th minute.

Despite little hazard, Aymeric Laporte by accident hit the ball towards teammate Pau Torres, leaving Remo Freuler to tee up Shaqiri for the purpose.

Denis Zakaria watches as his deflection puts Spain ahead in the match.

Red card

But the enjoyment was quick lived with Freuler despatched off for what referee Michael Oliver deemed a reckless sort out in the 77th minute.

On second viewing, and regardless of VAR agreeing with Oliver, the choice appeared harsh with Freuler seemingly making contact with the ball in a sliding sort out on Gerard Moreno.

With the scores stage, the tie went into extra-time with 10-man Switzerland holding out for penalties.

Despite being so spectacular with its spot kicks towards France, Switzerland solely managed to rating one in every of its penalties towards Spain, which itself missed two makes an attempt.

Despite the win, questions nonetheless stay over Spain’s shaky protection and lack of innovative. It will definitely face a harder check in the subsequent spherical because it takes on both Italy or Belgium on Tuesday.

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