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Spain edge 10-man Switzerland in shoot-out to reach Euro 2020 semis

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Three-time European champions Spain needed to fight until penalty shootout to see off 10-man Switzerland in St Petersburg on Friday, reaching the semifinals of the Euro 2020 by 4-2.

The two teams tied in 1-1 in regular time and couldn't split after the extra time. But Spain finally wrapped it up by winning the penalty shot 3-1.

Spain led after eight minutes when Jordi Alba's low shot outside the box was deflected by Swiss midfielder Denis Zakaria's leg, leaving goalkeeper Yann Sommer helpless but watching the ball whooshing into net.

In the 55th minute, Zakaria nearly cancelled his own goal but his shot was inches wide. Xherdan Shaqiri then nailed it as the Swiss captain calmly pushed Remo Freuler's pass into net from close range in the the 68th minute.

But Switzerland's momentum was short lived as Freuler was sent off in the 77th minute with a straight red hard for a sliding challenge on Gerard Moreno.

Switzerland manager Vladimir Petkovic promptly made two changes and the 10-man Switzerland were tough enough to drag Spain into extra time.

Spain flooded to attack, but Sommer, who blocked French strike Kylian Mbappe's penalty shot last Monday, pushed himself forward by making amazing saves one after another.

In a dramatic penalty shootout, Spain captain Sergio Busquets stepped up first but hit the left post.

Although Rodri also missed the target as Sommer dived to the right direction to block the shot. Switzerland could not kill another giant as they missed three penalty shots and Mikel Oyarzabal scored the decider for Spain.

Spain will face the winners between Belgium and Italy in London's Wembley Stadium next Tuesday. Spain kept their dominance in possession all through into the second half but Switzerland, stunning world champions France in penalty shootout to reach the quarterfinals for the first time, were desperate to find their way back through counterattacks.

Published : July 03, 2021

By : xinhua