First modification: 06/29/2021 – 01:02
In a tournament with surprising results, Switzerland managed to give the bell by eliminating on penalties (5-4 after 3-3 with which the extension ended) this Monday, June 28, France, the current world champion, and they meet in the quarterfinals with Spain, who had previously defeated Croatia 5-3 in extra time.
One day after continental champion Portugal and her star Cristiano Ronaldo said goodbye to the European tournament, this Monday it was the turn of the French, world champions, and their stars Kylian Mbappé, Paul Pogba, Karim Benzema, Antoine Griezmann, among others .
And it was precisely one of these stars, Mbappé, who with his failure in the last shot of the penalty shootout gave Switzerland a pass to the quarterfinals of the European Championship after having drawn 3-3 in regulation time, in a match played in Bucharest.
France dominated 3-1 with ten minutes to go when Switzerland managed to take the game into overtime and a ticket to the quarterfinals on a penalty shootout that only missed the Paris Saint-Germain star.
In the regulation 90 minutes, the Swiss scored a header double with his number ‘9’ Haris Seferovic (15, 81), before Mario Gavranovic (90) took the duel into extra time.
The French goals came from Karim Benzema, in three crazy minutes (57, 59), seconded by Paul Pogba with a shot across the squad from outside the area (75).
Four minutes of madness
As if that were not enough, the goalkeeper and captain of France, Hugo Lloris, had saved a penalty from Ricardo Rodríguez (55) just before Benzema’s double was triggered.
“Today we are on the bad side, but it is necessary to accept it even if it hurts,” said Bleus coach Didier Deschamps after the match. “We need time to digest this (the defeat), but without a doubt we did not deserve more. Football is like that,” he added.
Switzerland will meet Spain in the quarterfinals on Friday in St. Petersburg. It is the first time that the ‘Nati’ reaches a quarter in the continental tournament.
The ‘Red’ previously eliminated Croatia, also after going through extra time, by 5-3 and returns to a few quarters in a great international tournament since it closed its magic cycle almost ten years ago – European champion in 2008 and 2012, of the world in 2010-.
Pablo Sarabia (minute 38), César Azpilicueta (57) and Ferran Torres (77) had come back from Pedri’s own goal (20), in a great error by goalkeeper Unai Simón, who failed to control the pass of his co-worker.
But Croatia was resurrected in the final minutes and took the game into extra time thanks to Misla Orsic (85) and Mario Pasalic (90 + 2).
Finally, it was Spain that took the lead with goals from Álvaro Morata (100) and Mikel Oyarzabal (103), although before those goals Unai Simón retaliated for his mistake in the first half with a great save from Andrej’s shot Kramaric that could have meant the advantage for the Croats (96).
“I put the headline for you: ‘Enjoy football!’. Today was excessive. But the match gave us a second chance and it doesn’t usually happen,” declared Spanish coach Luis Enrique euphoric.
“I’m sad because we were able to come from 3-1. We made serious mistakes in the goals and we were not able to save energy after the first part of extra time,” summed up Croatian coach Zlatko Dalic.
On Tuesday the round of 16 will be completed with the most anticipated duel of all, England-Germany at Wembley (4:00 p.m. GMT), and it will close with Sweden-Ukraine in Glasgow (5:00 p.m. GMT).
Three of the quarter-final matches are already known: on Friday, the Swiss and Spanish teams will open fire in Saint Petersburg (16h00 GMT) and Belgium-Italy will follow in Munich (19h00 GMT).
On the other side of the table, Denmark and the Czech Republic will play in Baku on Saturday (16h00 GMT) and the winner will play for the final against the winner of the last duel of the quarterfinals, which will be played by the two teams that win this Tuesday.