Euro 2020 Round of 16: France 3-3 Switzerland (4-5 on penalties)
Switzerland completed a fairytale comeback as they knocked out world champions France in the Round of 16 at Euro 2020.
The Swiss had a chance to take a comfortable lead in regulation time but missed a penalty. France then made them pay but Switzerland showed character and found a way back into the game.
Haris Seferovic gave Switzerland the lead with a fine header after just 15 minutes as the football world was stunned.
The side looked good heading into the break with a 1-0 lead, looking to pull off a big upset at Euro 2020. They had a golden opportunity to make it 2-0 from the penalty spot but Ricardo Rodríguez’s shot was saved by Hugo Lloris.
The France captain went the right way and got a huge palm on the ball, diving to his bottom right to keep French hopes alive in the 55th minute.
His save proved crucial as shortly after that, France went onto score at the other end just 2 minutes later through Karim Benzema.
The Real Madrid striker pounced onto Kylian Mbappe’s assist to make it all square. Again, within a couple of minutes, the game turned on its head as Benzema doubled his tally as France took the lead.
It seemed like France were going to run away with it at this point. They controlled the tempo of the game and looked like the champion side.
The tie looked all but over as Paul Pogba scored a screamer from outside the box that curled into the top corner. This put France up 3-1 with just 15 minutes to play.
Switzerland find a way
But Switzerland were determined to fight back. Seferovic came to his side’s rescue once again as he made it 3-2 with 9 minutes of the 90 still to play.
The Swiss had their tails up and a tight press paid dividends. Paul Pogba lost the ball in the centre of the park and Switzerland broke on the counter.
Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka played in Mario Gavranovic who then neatly completed the comeback in the 90th minute.
Fans could not believe how the drama was unfolding. Just before this game, everyone had witnessed an eight-goal thriller in Copenhagen between Croatia and Spain.
To now get another comeback and see a second consecutive game going into extra time was surreal.
France looked a tired side in extra time and failed to create any clear-cut opportunities. Switzerland, on the other hand, looked to be playing for a penalty shootout.
It worked out perfectly for the underdogs. Switzerland won the toss and chose to take their penalties first. None of their five designated penalty-takers missed.
It all came down to Kylian Mbappe who had loads of pressure on him. France had also scored their previous 4 penalties. Unfortunately for the French, Mbappe’s penalty was saved by Yann Sommer.
France were knocked out of Euro 2020 courtesy of a penalty shootout as the Swiss won a match they deserved to.
This has set up another mouthwatering clash against another European giant in Spain. The quarterfinal should have equal amounts of drama, judging by how the Round of 16 games went for both qualifiers.