Euro 2024: England Hold Their Nerve to Edge Switzerland on Penalties

England booked their place in the Euro 2024 semifinals after a dramatic penalty shootout victory over Switzerland on Saturday, July 6th. The match at Dusseldorf Arena was a tense affair, with both sides cancelling each other out for long periods.

A Tense Stalemate Broken

The first half was a cagey encounter, with neither side able to carve out clear-cut chances. England, who had relied on late goals in their previous matches, struggled to break down a well-organized Swiss defense. Switzerland, on the other hand, threatened on the counter-attack, with Breel Embolo a constant menace.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 75th minute when Embolo capitalized on a defensive lapse by England to fire home from close range. The Swiss lead looked set to take them through to the semis, but England responded with a moment of brilliance just five minutes later. Bukayo Saka unleashed a stunning strike from outside the box to level the score and send the game into extra time.

Penalty Drama Unfolds

Extra time failed to produce a winner, meaning the cruel lottery of penalties would decide who progressed. England stepped up to the challenge, with all five of their takers converting their spot-kicks. Trent Alexander-Arnold kept his nerve to smash the winning penalty into the top corner, sparking jubilation amongst the England fans.

Switzerland, on the other hand, saw their dreams of a first-ever Euro semi-final appearance dashed. Manuel Akanji’s missed penalty proved to be the difference, as Yann Sommer was unable to keep out any of England’s efforts.

England’s Relief and Swiss Heartbreak

The victory was a major relief for England, who had come under pressure for their unconvincing performances in the earlier stages of the tournament. Manager Gareth Southgate will be hoping that this win can kickstart their Euro campaign and propel them towards a long-awaited trophy.

For Switzerland, the defeat will be a bitter pill to swallow. They had matched England for large parts of the game and will rue their missed opportunities, particularly from the penalty spot.

Also Read: Rohit Sharma Retains ODI Captaincy for Champions Trophy, WTC Final: BCCI Secretary Jay Shah Confirms

Looking Ahead

England now face the winner of the upcoming quarter-final between Netherlands and Turkey. With momentum building, they will be confident of their chances of reaching the final. Switzerland’s journey at Euro 2024 comes to an end, but they can take heart from their impressive performances throughout the tournament.

DISCLAIMER: This team is based on the understanding, analysis, and instinct of the author. While selecting your team, consider the points mentioned and make your own decision.

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