Euro 2020: Switzerland Stun France In Frenetic Fixture

Euro 2021

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Switzerland booked their place in the UEFA Euro 2020 quarter-finals after knocking out reigning World champions France in the Round of 16.

The Swiss started off the better of the two sides with their crossing proving to be a big threat against France’s back three.

The side went ahead after Haris Seferovic headed the ball into the France net just 15 minutes into the game.

France centre-back Clement Lenglet was caught out, ducking while Seferovic leapt to connect with wing-back Steven Zuber’s cross.

France’s 3-4-3 confused the players who were unsure of what to do in the new system and they reverted to a back four after 35 minutes.

Lenglet was replaced by Kingsley Coman at half-time and the substitution swung the game in the favour of Les Bleus.

Coman’s presence meant there was an extra man in the French attack and the move stretched the Swiss backline.

Two goals from Karim Benzema on either side of a missed Swiss penalty put France into the driver’s seat and put Benzema on four goals in the tournament.

Hugo Lloris’ penalty save was his first for France since 2012.

Paul Pogba turned on the style with some effortless passing in the pocket, akin to a quarterback.

France’s Tom Brady scored the third goal for France to put the game beyond doubt, at least at that moment in time.

However, N’Golo KantĂ©’s performance as a sole defensive midfielder was a no-show and the middle of the park saw the creation of many dangerous attacks.

Switzerland fought their way back into the game.

Granit Xhaka, who has been impressive alongside Remo Freuler in the tournament, turned it up a notch and started putting on a passing clinic of his own.

Seferovic nodded a second header home with Raphael Varane to blame this time as he let the Benfica goalscorer get in front of him.

Xhaka’s fantastic vision saw Mario Gavranovic add a brilliant 90th-minute equaliser after having a goal ruled out for offside just minutes before.

Xhaka could have assisted a winner moments later when Admir Mehmedi was played in but the striker’s touch let him down.

Extra-time came and went with both sides going close but failing to find a winner.

Switzerland penalties were flawless with Mehmedi converting the fifth and final one, righting his wrong from regular time.

Kylian MbappĂ© missed the deciding spot-kick, capping off a frustrating and underwhelming tournament for Didier Deschamp’s men.

Vladimir Petkovic’s side were understandably elated after Yann Sommer’s save – they reached the quarter-final of a major tournament for the first time since the 1954 World Cup when they beat Italy 4-1 in a playoff as they finished the group on the same points.

It is unlikely that their Euro 2020 quarter-final against Spain will reproduce the same goalscoring numbers as last night (or even their 1954 World Cup quarter-final against Austria, a 7-5 loss that lasted 90 minutes.)

However, it will be history for this Swiss side, who have just made the world take notice.

Switzerland v Spain kicks off at 5 pm on Friday.

 

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