Saturday, July 20, 2024

England beat Switzerland on penalty to reach semifinal


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Düsseldorf, July 6: England beat Switzerland in a dramatic penalty shootout in Dusseldorf on Saturday to reach the semifinals of Euro 2024.
Manuel Akanji missed the crucial penalty as Jordan Pickford leapt down to his left to give England an advantage they never gave up.
Switzerland struck first in the game after an even first half as Breel Embolo, who missed most of the domestic season with an injury, scored the first goal of the quarterfinal in the 75th minute.
Embolo took advantage of a bouncing ball in the 18-yard box which ricocheted of John Stones’ leg, reacting fastest and poking it past Pickford in the England net.
Gareth Southgate immediately responded with changes, bringing on Cole Palmer, Eberechi Eze and Luke Shaw, who last played competitively on Feb. 18 and has been recovering from a hamstring injury.
That action reaped rewards as Bukayo Saka picked up the ball from his Arsenal teammate Declan Rice on the right wing, cut inside and curled home a stunning left-footed strike which went in off the base of Yann Sommer’s post to level proceedings and send the travelling England fans into rapture.
Neither team could regain the advantage in either the final 10 minutes of the game or extra time, and it was Akanji’s miss that proved decisive as England move on to play either Turkey or the Netherlands.
The match turned interesting where, Bukaya Saka equalised for the Three Lions with a stunning shot in the 80th minute, after Switzerland had taken the lead through Breel Embolo in the 75th minute.
After the end of 90 minutes plus added time, there was nothing to separate the two teams and extra-time was played.
Eventually, it was a penalty shootout where England won 5-3 to book the semifinal berth.
England’s dramatic victory in the penalty shootout secures their place in the Euro 2024 semifinals, showcasing their resilience and determination. The thrilling encounter saw crucial contributions from players like Bukayo Saka, whose brilliant equalizer kept England’s hopes alive. Gareth Southgate’s strategic substitutions played a pivotal role in shifting the momentum, demonstrating his tactical acumen. As England prepares to face either Turkey or the Netherlands in the semifinals, this hard-fought win will undoubtedly boost their confidence and drive as they continue their quest for European glory.
The match in Dusseldorf was a testament to the intensity and unpredictability of knockout football. England’s ability to remain composed under pressure, particularly in the penalty shootout, highlights their mental fortitude. Jordan Pickford’s crucial save from Manuel Akanji’s penalty underscored his importance to the team and provided a pivotal moment in the contest.
The spirited performances from both teams kept fans on the edge of their seats, making this quarterfinal clash a memorable chapter in Euro 2024. (Agencies)


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