Matador to Euro 2020 Semifinals via Penalty Shootout

St Petersburg

The Spanish national team had to go through an uphill battle to reach the semifinals of the 2020 European Cup. This was after La Furia Roja beat Switzerland on penalties 3-1.

In the match at the Kretovsky stadium, Friday (2/7/2021) early morning WIB, Spain took a quick lead in the eighth minute through Denis Zakaria’s suicide. However, after that Spain struggled to score goals despite appearing dominant.

Switzerland, which was more aggressive in the second half, was even able to equalize the score through Xherdan Shaqiri in the 72nd minute. Switzerland had to lose Remo Freuler who got a red card.

However, Switzerland was able to maintain the score 1-1 until 120 minutes of the game was complete. Unfortunately, Switzerland lost on penalties and Spain awaited either Belgium or Italy in the Euro 2020 semifinals July 6 at Wembley.

The game Switzerland vs Spain

Switzerland directly serve Spain from the first minute and try to give a surprise. Through attacks from the wings, Switzerland maximized the gap in the Spanish defense, which played a high defense line.

However, Spain took the lead in the eighth minute. From Koke’s corner, the ball failed to reach Aymeric Laporte and fell at the feet of Jordi Alba. From the front of the penalty box, Alba shot the ball and hit Denis Zakaria’s body, before outwitting Yann Sommer.

This goal was originally counted as Alba’s goal, but UEFA decided it was a Zakaria own goal because the ball changed direction.

Denis Zakaria’s own goal put Spain 1-0 up Photo: AP/Kirill Kudryavtsev

Despite winning first, Spain would find it difficult to create clear opportunities in front of the Swiss goal. Meanwhile, Switzerland did a lot of danger through counter-attacks and set pieces.

In the 17th minute, Spain had another chance when a free kick in front of the penalty box was executed by Koke, but the ball was still flying over the bar.

Eight minutes later Cesar Azpilicueta won the aerial with Manuel Akanji and headed in the corner. Unfortunately right in Sommer’s catch.

Xherdan Shaqiri and Steven Zuber troubled the Spanish defense through attacks from the wings. Several times they were able to release crossings that had to be painstakingly driven away by the Spanish defenders.

However, there was not a single opportunity that did endanger Unai Simon’s goal. Until halftime, the score remained 1-0 for Spain’s advantage.

Entered in the second half, Spain still dominated but again they struggled to create clear chances. Despite having played Dani Olmo and Gerard Moreno in order to refresh the attack line, Spain ended up deadlocked when entering the final third of the game.

Meanwhile, Switzerland is still attacking through a counter attack which makes it difficult for Spain’s back line. One chance was obtained by Switzerland in the 56th minute through Zakaria’s header but it was still wide.

In the 64th minute, Unai Simon made his first save when he parried Steven Zuber’s shot from close range.

Spain’s goal finally conceded also in the 69th minute. Miscommunication between Laporte and Pau Torres saw Remo Freuler snatch the ball which was then passed to Shaqiri in front of goal. He easily hit the ball into the corner of the goal.

Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri scores his side's opening goal during the Euro 2020 soccer championship quarterfinal match between Switzerland and Spain, at the Saint Petersburg stadium in Saint Petersburg, Friday, July 2, 2021. (Kirill Kudryavtsev, Pool via AP)Xherdan Shaqiri equalized 1-1 for Switzerland Photo: AP/Kirill Kudryavtsev

While Switzerland were in high spirits after leveling 1-1, they instead lost Freuler who was sent off for a two-footed tackle on Gerard Moreno in the 77th minute.

Referee shows a red card to Switzerland's Remo Freuler, not pictured, during the Euro 2020 soccer championship quarterfinal match between Switzerland and Spain at Saint Petersburg Stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, Friday, July 2, 2021. (Anton Vaganov/Pool via AP)Red card for Remo Freuler (Anton Vaganov/Pool via AP) Photo: AP/Anton Vaganov

Spain could not maximize the advantage of the number of players in the remaining normal time and had to play another 2×15 minute extra time round. 1-1 score last.

In the first half of extra time, Spain immediately kicked off. In the 91st minute, they stormed through Alba down the left and finished with a pull pass at the near post. Unfortunately Moreno’s shot was wide.

Spain continued to press the Swiss defense for goals, but Sommer played brilliantly. In the 101st minute, Sommer parried Moreno’s shot from close range following Sergio Busquets’ cross.

Two minutes later it was Mikel Oyarzabal’s turn to curl a shot from the penalty box but Sommer saved it.

Entering the second half of extra time, Spain was frustrated again by Sommer who played so brilliantly. He several times stemmed the opportunity for the Spanish opportunity.

In the 112th minute, Dani Olmo found space to shoot in front of goal, but the ball was still flying over the bar. Spain really struggled to find a second goal until 120 minutes of the game ended and a penalty shoot-out had to take place.

Sergio Busquets as the executor of Spain’s first penalty failed because the ball hit the post. Mario Gavranovic put Switzerland ahead after beating Unai Simon.

Dani Olmo successfully netted the ball into Sommer’s goal and the second Swiss executor Fabian Schar failed after being pushed over by Simon. Rodri as Spain’s third executor also failed because it was pushed over by Sommer.

Manuel Akanji was like that because Simon was pushed aside. Moreno as Spain’s fourth executor can net the ball into Sommer’s goal. Vargas shot over goal as Switzerland’s fourth executor.

Spain finally advanced to the semifinals after Oyarzabal’s shot rounded Sommer and made it 3-1 in the penalty shootout.

Spain's Mikel Oyarzabal, left, scores the winning penalty during the Euro 2020 soccer championship quarterfinal match between Switzerland and Spain at Saint Petersburg Stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, Friday, July 2, 2021. (Anton Vaganov/Pool via AP)Mikel Oyarzabal’s execution determines Spain’s qualification Photo: AP/Anton Vaganov


Switzerland: Yann Sommer; Nico Elvedi, Manuel Akanji, Ricardo Rodriguez; Silvan Widmer (Kevin Mbabu 100′), Remo Freuler, Denis Zakaria (Fabian Schar 101′), Steven Zuber; Xherdan Shaqiri (Djibril Sow 81′); Breel Embolo (Ruben Vargas 23′), Haris Seferovic (Mario Gavranovic 82′).

Spanish: Unai Simon; Cesar Azpilicueta, Aymeric Laporte, Pau Torres (Thiago 113 ‘), Jordi Alba; Koke (Marcos Llorente 91 ‘), Sergio Busquets, Pedri (Rodri 119’); Ferran Torres, Alvaro Morata (Gerard Moreno 54 ‘), Pablo Sarabia (Dani Olmo 46’).




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