Switzerland beat World champions France on penalty

Kylian Mbappe missed a crucial kick as Switzerland beat France on penalties in Euro 2020 last 16 after the classic European Championship match.

The Swiss were only a matter of seconds away in the 90th minute but faced Spain after advancing in a major tournament match since 1938.

Haris Seferovic pushed Switzerland forward, and they got a penalty that could have gone 2-0 before Karim Benzema scored two goals, and Paul Pogba put France 3-1 with an opener.

Seferovic scored the second goal of the Swiss game, and his substitute Mario Gavranovic hammered in the last minute to give the match extra time.

Mbappe missed a few chances of a world champion in extra time, and Olivier Giroud had a header saved at the last minute.

Paris St-Germain striker Mbappe was the only player to fail to score in a shot, following a fine save from Yann Sommer.

Switzerland will next play with Spain, who also reached through the thriller 5-3 after extra time against Croatia in the quarter-finals in St Petersburg on Friday.

Moreover, this is the biggest shock of Euro 2020 so far, with world champions. France was expected to win the tournament, though.

The best hour for Switzerland?

Switzerland’s last time in the quarter-finals of a major tournament was the 1954 World Cup they hosted. They had not progressed through the knockout game since the 1938 World Cup.

It could all have been so different as they faced elimination in the group stage after scoring one point in their opening two games.

Manager Vladimir Petkovic wrote an open letter to the Swiss newspaper apologizing to the fans. And asked them to support the team when they play against Turkey. They won that game and reached the last 16 as one of the best teams in third place.

The best hour of Switzerland (Source: Guinea News)
The best hour of Switzerland (Source: Guinea News)

Furthermore, Petkovic’s side fully deserved their half-time lead in the game against France. And all thanks to Seferovic’s header from a cross by Zuber, his fourth assist of Euro 2020. That was the first time Switzerland had taken the lead in a competitive game against France.

They missed a good chance to go 2-0 when Benjamin Pavard knocked out Zuber, and VAR awarded the penalty. But Ricardo Rodriguez’s weak kick was saved well by Hugo Lloris.

After four minutes and three seconds, they followed Benzema double and looked everywhere when Pogba scored.

But as Croatia did against Spain earlier in the day. Switzerland scored two points in the last 10 minutes to force extra time.

Seferovic scored his third goal of the tournament, and Gavranovic held on to Granit Xhaka’s fine pass to score in the 90th minute.

They had few chances to score in extra time. But they dropped all five penalties in the shootout to advance to Friday’s quarter-finals in Russia.

France fails to take advantage of the opportunity to return.

France was traumatized in the first half when Didier Deschamps tried a three men defense, a system he has never used due to injuries to two of their left-backs.

He left that midway through the first half with Les Bleus trailing 1-0 and was in danger of advancing by many.

It looked like 243 seconds in the second half was their release card. That was when Lloris’ fine save 1-0, and Benzema put them ahead 2-1.

France fails to take advantage of the opportunity to return (Source: Bharat Times)
France fails to take advantage of the opportunity to return (Source: Bharat Times)

Benzema’s first was surprising, as he controlled Mbappe’s pass with a backheel flick before crossing the ball past Sommer.

He then headed back from Antoine Griezmann’s cross, which was deflected. Finally, Pogba scored one of the goals in the tournament as he received a top corner from 30 yards out.

They looked completely comfortable at the time, but they bottled it as the Swiss returned. Kingsley Coman almost defeated them with a last kick in the 90th minute but hit a crossbar.

Then came the penalties, and Mbappe, one of the stars who won the French World Cup. He ended Euro 2020 without a goal and a penalty kick that eliminated them. They have never been to Euro, and now they are the only place to go home.

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