euro 2020
Switzerland euro 2020 team
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By our correspondent 

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EURO 2020-Switzerland upset France after a fantastic European Championship game  on penalties  after Kylian Mbappe missed the key kick.

The Swiss came within seconds of being eliminated during the first 90 minutes, but advanced to face Spain after making it to the final of a major competition for the first time since 1938.

The Swiss took the lead via to Haris Seferovic’s goal, and they had a penalty saved.

Switzerland’s Seferovic scored his second goal of the game, and  substitute  Mario Gavranovic scored a last minute equalizer  to  force extra time.

In extra time, Mbappe wasted two good chances for the world  champions, and Olivier Giroud’s header was stopped in the final minute

Mbappe of Paris Saint Germain was the only the only player who failed to score in the shootout, despite an exceptional performance.

In the quarterfinals in St Petersburg on Friday, Switzerland will face Spain, who also survived a nail-biter – 5 -3  after  extra  time  against Croatia.

This is the biggest upset of Euro 2020 thus far, with 12 of 15 sports analysts predicting France to win the tournament before it had started.

The last time Switzerland reached the quarterfinals in a major tournament was in 1954 at the World Championships.

They hadn’t advanced past the round of 16 since the 1938 World Cup.

It could have gone so differently if they hadn’t been eliminated in the group stage after only gaining one point in their first two games.

Manager Vladimir Petkovic apologized to fans and asked them to support the team against Turkey in an open letter published in a Swiss newspaper

They won that game and advanced to the round of 16 as a team.

Seferovic’s header from a cross by Zuber, his fourth assist of Euro

2020, gave Petkovic’s side a deserved half-time lead over France.

That was the first time Switzeland had ever taken the lead against France in a competitive match.

They had a wonderful chance to go 2-0 up when Zuber was tackled by Benjamin Pavard and the VAR awarded a penalty, but Ricardo Rodriguez’s shot was saved.

A Benzema double put them behind four minutes and three seconds  later, and it looked like it was all over when Pogba scored.

Switzerland, like Croatia earlier in the day against Spain, scored twice in the finalten  minutes to force extra time

Gavranovic scored in the 90th minute after Seferovic scored his third goal of the tournament after latching on to Granit Xhaka’s brilliant ball

They had few chances to score in extra time, but they converted all five penalty kicks in the shootout to advance to the quarter-finals in Russia on Friday.

France fails to capitalize on a comeback opportunity.Due to injuries to two of their left-backs, Didier Deschamps attempted a three-man defense, a system he rarely employs. With Les Bleus losing 1-0 and in danger of falling farther behind, he abandoned that strategy midway through the first half 243 seconds in the second half appeared to be their get-out-of-jail card. That was the period between Lloris’ 1-0 penalty save and Benzema’s 2-1 goal.

Benzema’s first goal was spectacular, as he used a backheel flip to control Mbappe’s pass before clipping the ball past Sommer.

From Antoine Griezmann’s deflected cross, he headed in at the back  post. Pogba scored one of the tournament’s best goals, finding the top corner from 30 yards out.

They appeared to be entirely at ease at the time, but as the Swiss returned, they bottled it up.

With the last kick of the 90 minutes, Kingsley Coman almost won it for them, but he struck the crossbar.

So it came down to penalties, and Mbappe – one of the stars of France’s World Cup victory – finished Euro 2020 with no goals and a penalty miss that saw his team eliminated.

They never got going in the Euros, and now the only place they can play is at home.

 

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