The national team had to go to the penalty shoot-out after shooting 27 times, taking 13 corners, possessing 66%, giving 1,009 passes and playing 45 minutes with one more
A tachycardic penalty shootout in which Simón gave calm
After more than two hours of football, in which Switzerland was the wall and Spain the hammer, the quarterfinals were decided from 11 meters. In theory, Sommer was the favorite in his particular duel with Unai Simón, but the Athletic goalkeeper ended up dressed in the hero’s cape. The goal stopped two maximum penalties to Schär and Akanji, while the Helvetian stopped Rodri. Only four goalkeepers have managed to stop two shots in the penalty shootout in a European Championship: Toldo, Casillas, Neuer and now Simón. He was the real protagonist of a match that had to be resolved earlier, in regulation time, but had to go to the limit in an already memorable tie for the number one team and Athletic.
Oyarzabal entered the extra time motivated and sentenced the pass
Mikel Oyarzabal was another of the key figures in Spain’s qualification for the Eurocup semifinals. The realist entered extra time and was seen with spark, motivated, wanting to assume his share of leadership. He was active, mobile, asked for the ball and did not stop testing Sommer. In the 103rd minute, the winger finished off marvelously but the Swiss goalkeeper responded with a real save. He tried again shortly after, but there was no way to beat the Swiss goalkeeper. And so the penalties were reached. Far from being erased, the Eibar asked to shoot the maximum penalty and did it on top as the last pitcher. Mark meant classification. Cold as ice, he tossed the ball to one side and Sommer to the other. Goal. Happiness.
The expulsion of Freuler gave absolute command to Spain
Spain attacked again and again, but Switzerland was tactically perfect. He managed to contain all the attempts of the selection – except in the action of Zakaria’s own goal – and quickly came out to counterattack. In fact, without forgetting a lack of understanding between central Laporte and Pau Torres, he thus achieved the tying goal through Shaqiri. Then midfielder Freuler saw a direct red for a tackle on Gerard Moreno. The Helvetians were left with one less and played 45 minutes outnumbered. La Roja did not play football, but handball, a continuous siege that did not serve to tear down the wall. In the end he had to go around it to reach the semifinals.
Five clear missed chances against a great Sommer
Beyond the approach of the Swiss, which is to include it in textbooks and study how to minimize the virtues of an infinitely superior rival, if La Roja reached the penalty shoot-out it was also due to their lack of success. For that reason and because Sommer shone with prodigious interventions. Up to five clear occasions had the selection in the extra time and was not able to transform any. Gerard Moreno had two, Jordi Alba had one, as did Oyarzabal and Marcos Llorente, but in all of them they ran into a giant under the sticks.
Overwhelming numbers that did not serve to tear down the wall
Spain was not entirely Spain until it was in numerical superiority. It was not so much his demerit as the success of the Swiss, impeccable in effort, marks, defensive system and order in all their actions. Only when Freuler saw the red did the selection take full control. He overwhelmed the Helvetians between minutes 76 and 121, but without hurting them despite the following data: 27 shots (10 on goal), 66% possession, 1,009 passes through the rival’s 389, 13 corners and 147 kilometers traveled, seven more than Switzerland. After two clashes in which they scored 10 goals, Luis Enrique’s men could only beat Sommer with an own goal. The effectiveness was not as desired. In addition, until yesterday they had conceded four corners and the Swiss took nine.
Luis Enrique goes with his ideas to the end of the world
He does what he wants and how he wants, he does not marry anyone and the more he is criticized and required to change certain approaches, the more he reaffirms himself in them. Yesterday he sat Éric and gave entry to Pau Torres, which meant moving Laporte to the right central. He also dispensed with Gayà, who played a good game against Croatia, and dressed Jordi Alba as the starter, from whose boots Spain’s goal came out. He kept Morata up and left Gerard and Marcos Llorente on the bench, to activate them later. He has his ideas, immovable and impervious to noise, and he goes with them to the end of the world.