Switzerland dump world champions France on penalties in exciting Euro 2020 match, the Swiss will now face Spain in the quarter finals.
|Photo credit: uefa.com
On a dramatic evening in Bucharest, Switzerland defeated France on penalties to advance to the quarter-finals, where they will face Spain.
Didier Deschamps started with a three-man defence, but his team struggled to adjust to the new shape and fell behind to a towering header from Haris Seferovic that beat Hugo Lloris.
Efforts from the effervescent Kylian Mbappe and Adrien Rabiot sailed wide, but the Nati were well worth their half-time advantage.
Les Bleus changed shape with Kingsley Coman's entrance at halftime, but it was the alteration in their fortunes that proved more telling.
Les Bleus changed shape with Kingsley Coman's entrance at halftime, but it was the alteration in their fortunes that proved more telling. After a foul on Steven Zuber by Benjamin Pavard, Lloris superbly saved Ricardo Rodrguez' penalty, and France took full advantage.
Mbappe passed in Karim Benzema to equalise, and the Real Madrid forward nodded in two minutes later after Yann Sommer parried Antoine Griezmann's attempt.
Paul Pogba's spectacular curling goal turned two into three.
Late in the game, Switzerland equalised through another Seferovic header, and just when it looked like France had done enough to win this last-16 thriller, Mario Gavranovic equalised from outside the box to force extra time.
Mbappe squandered the finest chance of the extra 30 minutes, and after nine successful spot-kicks in the shoot-out, Sommer stopped the Paris attacker to complete an amazing night for Vladimir Petkovic's Nati.
Man of the Match: Granit Xhaka (Switzerland)
What the players and managers said
Granit Xhaka, Switzerland captain: "It's amazing. We made history tonight and we are all very proud. We wrote the history of this footballing nation. Now we have Spain in the quarters. It will be difficult but we are dreaming now."
Yann Sommer, Switzerland goalkeeper: "What a match! What an evening of football! It was our chance to finally go through the round of 16 because we never made it before. It's incredible – we played with heart and with character. It was a really difficult situation for us after the penalty miss. I'm really proud of the team, how they came back. We always believed."
Hugo Lloris, France goalkeeper: "We're not looking for excuses. The regret, if we can have one, is that we led 3-1. In recent years we have known how to shut up shop. We went through every emotion possible and honestly that was football the way we like it. The two goals we conceded in the last quarter of an hour really hurt us."
Raphaël Varane, France defender: "It's hugely disappointing. We completely messed up our first half. We reacted in the second half but then left them space and they came back. Penalties are a lottery. We could have scored in extra time as we had the chances to do that."