Luis Enrique’s men have beaten 10-man Swiss through penalties in the quarter-finals of Euro 2020.
The Spaniards drew first blood after Jordi Alba’s shot took a big deflection of Swiss midfielder Denis Zakaria.
A defensive lapse from the Spaniards allowed Switzerland to level the score through Xherdan Shaqiri.
Swiss hit a stumbling block soon when Remo Freuler was shown a straight red for his clumsy challenge on Gerard Moreno. Spaniards looked to take advantage of the situation but to little effect as the game progressed to the penalties.
Swiss players couldn’t hold their nerves in the shootout as they managed to score one penalty while Spain, who netted three penalties, to seal their place in the semi-finals.
Defensive errors from both sides
Both the teams managed to score a goal each in normal time, and all of them came through defensive mistakes. Zakaria’s big deflection allowed Alba’s ball to roll into the nets behind hapless Yann Sommer. While at the other end in the second half, there was a big mix up between Spanish centre-back Pau Torres and Aymeric Laporte, allowing Swiss to equalise.
Swiss showed resilience despite Freuler’s red card
Many would have thought Switzerland’s chances were over after Remo Freuler’s red card. However, they presented an arduous task for the Spaniards despite being a man down. A sturdy defensive display combined with Yann Sommer’s stunning saves nearly held off Spain.
Goalkeepers stealing the show in the penalty shootout
Yann Sommer had an outstanding night similar to the France game, making a handful of saves in the extra time. He looked almost like the hero for Swiss when he denied Rodri’s penalty in the shootout. Meanwhile, on the other hand, Unai Simon, who had nothing much to do in the normal time, was equally impressive by making two saves.
Swiss failed to hold their nerves in the shoot out
After Sergio Busquets’ initial penalty miss, The odds were in favour of the Swiss, but they failed to make the most of it. Simon denied Fabian Schar and Manuel Akanji while young forward Ruben Vargas sent his shot above the post.
The Swiss badly needed Xhaka
Granit Xhaka, who was the man of the match in the Swiss’ epic win against France, had to miss tonight’s card due to suspension (accumulating two yellow cards. in back to back games). His absence was clearly felt while his replacement Zakaria endured a difficult game after scoring an own goal.