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Euro 2020: Spain Survive Switzerland Scare To Zoom Into Semi-finals 

Euro 2020: Spain Survive Switzerland Scare To Zoom Into Semi-finals 

Spain overcame a scare from a stubborn Switzerland to seal a Euro 2020 semi-final spot after a dramatic penalty shootout victory in St. Petersburg.

With the scores level at 1-1 and reduced to 10 men after a dubious red card to midfielder Remo Freuler in the 77th minute, the Swiss produced a rearguard action to frustrate a blunt Spain who regressed to the listless football that so characterized their opening two games in this tournament.

Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer, the shootout hero against France, was again inspired as he repelled shot after shot in extra time, at one stage saving at point-blank range from a particularly profligate Gerard Moreno.

But it was Spain who prevailed in the penalty lottery, winning 3-1 in the shootout after Mikel Oyarzabal scored the decisive effort to send his team into a semi-final date with either Italy or Belgium at Wembley.

The three-time European champions will wait for the winner of Friday’s second quarter-finals between Italy and Belgium.

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  • pompei 1 month ago

    Switzerland can exit the tournament with their head held high. They have done themselves and their country proud. Nobody gave them a chance, yet they almost made the semis. Really good effort. Quoting Federer – “It’s been an amazing Sommer”.
    Spain are looking really good for the trophy. If they can keep performing at this high level, it will be tough to stop them. Italy and England will have a thing or two to say about that. But the form book favors La Furia Roja, in my opinion.

    • Ikeben 1 month ago

      For me Italy is favorite to win the trophy.

    • Hahaha. Nice play on words a la ‘amazing sommer’ @Pompei. Incredible, isn’t it, how a team can miss 3-4 penalties in a row, in spite of the heroic efforts of their own goalkeeper. But I guess the way the Spanish goalkeeper kept dancing from side to side in the goalpost confused Akanji and the rest and made the goal post suddenly look 5 times smaller and no space to slot in the ball. Lol. Nice penalty strategy by the Spanish goal-minder. But Sommer was the bomb!

      • Lol. It reminded me of how Enyeama used to dance from side to side in penalty shootouts.

  • Pompei, Spain are profligate upfront. I predict an England v Italy final in which it can go either way.

    • @deo, yep. Looking very likely so, except there’s another upset along the way. Was chatting a British colleague and passionate Three Lions fan the day after their team knocked Germany out and he was projecting Italy-England final too. I said, nah, it’s gonna be Belgium all the way.

      Obviously, he was a better analyst and I was wrong. Just for his sake, I hope England finally nicks a major trophy since 1966. Only that, personally, I don’t like Southgate and for his sake, won’t mind England getting dumped out sooner or later. Hehehehe.

      • Hahahahah.. 🙂

        Kel what has Southgate done to attract your displeasure? The man is going about his work with ruthless pragmatism. Lol

      • pompei 1 month ago

        Lol, I think Kel’s annoyance with Southgate has to do with his role in snagging our English-born prospects of late. I must confess that I’m not too fond of the dude either. If I ran into him at a pub, I will not be paying for his beer. That’s for sure, looool!

    • pompei 1 month ago

      And Morata is the chief culprit. The Spanish forwards are so wasteful upfront! They need to be more resourceful in front of goal, especially against stingy defenses like Italy and England.

  • pompei 1 month ago

    Deo, regarding your Italy vs England final prediction, that would be an epic clash! Two sides with solid defenses, and potent attacks. Led by tactically savvy managers in Mancini and Southgate. And both sides have an abundance of talented players that can turn a game in an instant. Mouth watering I must say. Let’s see if it comes to pass.