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Euro 2020: Switzerland Defeats France in Penalty Kick Upset

Euro 2020
Swiss goal keeper Yann Sommer, who helped the Swiss beat France today after the match went to penalty kicks. Credit: Swiss Nati Men/Facebook

Switzerland will be advancing to the quarter-finals of the Euro 2020 after defeating France in a huge upset during the Knockout Phase on Monday.

The Swiss and the French played a riveting, intense match that led to a 3-3 tie before time was called. Thirty minutes of extra time was played with no match-deciding goal from either side, and thus the game went to penalty kicks.

Les Bleus, who are the reigning FIFA World Cup Champions, were largely expected to take out the Swiss men and plow steadily through the rest of the tournament. But when the Swiss took the lead at the start of the game, it was clear that the French did not have an easy win ahead of them.

They played strongly throughout the first and second half of Monday’s game, matching Switzerland’s goal and eventually getting two ahead to reach a score of 3-1 with less than 20 minutes left in the game, thanks to Manchester United star Paul Pogba.

It was right when France felt like they had it in the bag that Switzerland came roaring back, with Seferovic landing an amazing header into the back of the French net, putting the score at 3-2 at the 81st minute.

Animated by the stunning goal, the Swiss promptly scored again when Mario Gavranovic got the team to a tie to push the game over into extra time.

The first penalty kick shoot-out of the Euro 2020 did not disappoint

After thirty minutes of extra play, neither side could get the better of the other in the dazzling Round of Sixteen match. Because a winner could not emerge from regulation time or extra time, the game had to be decided by a penalty kick shoot out–the first one to occur in the 2020 Euro.

Penalty kicks had to be staged because one team must advance and the other must be eliminated as a direct outcome of the match.

The tense shoot-out proceeded with neither team missing a shot until France’s fifth and final kick when the young Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappé had his shot blocked by Swiss goal keeper Yann Sommer, who accurately predicted that the French forward would go right, and dove swiftly to meet the ball.

The Swiss men will go on to play the Spanish team in the quarter-finals in Saint Petersburg, Russia on Friday, July 2nd. Spain had an equally bracing match earlier in the afternoon against Croatia, which went to extra time but not penalties, as Spain was able to get two goals ahead of a 3-3 tie in just one round of extra time. The final score was 3-5.


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