Reigning world champions The French unexpectedly lost to Switzerland 4-5 in the round of 16 of the European Football Championship after a penalty shoot-out. In normal playing time, even after extra time, the dramatic match in Bucharest ended at 3: 3. Coach Vladimir Petkovice’s men, who qualified for the Euro quarter-finals for the first time, will face Spain on Friday in St. Petersburg.
Haris Seferovic took the Swiss advantage in the 15th minute. His teammate Ricardo Rodríguez did not convert the penalty early in the second half. Karim Benzema then reversed the score with two goals in the 57th and 59th minutes, and Paul Pogba made it 3-1 a quarter of an hour before the end. In the end, however, Seferovic cut back again and at the last minute he replaced alternator Mario Gavranovic.
The five Swiss executors succeeded in the shootout, on the side of the favorites “Les Bleus” only the star striker Kylian Mbappé failed, whose penalty was eliminated by goalkeeper Yann Sommer.
“It is incredible and we are all very proud. We have written a new historic chapter for our football nation. The Spaniards await us in the quarter-finals. It will be difficult, but we will continue to dream,” said the Swiss captain Granite Xhaka. in a TV interview.
“We are not looking for excuses. There is no good result for the reigning world champions in the round of 16. Everyone expected more, us in the first place. We will have to get over this disappointment. “, added French captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. .
From the start, the Swiss followed the French and did not give them much chance. On the other hand, they opened the scoring in the 15th minute thanks to a Seferovic header after Zuber’s cross. He scored his fourth assist in the tournament and is the best in that regard.
In the third match on the Euro, the French were the first to pick up in a row and then, for a long time, unsuccessfully besieged the opposing defensive block. Rabiot missed a distance from far, but “Les Bleus” didn’t have a better chance of taking a break.
The Swiss could have added a second goal in the 55th minute. Argentina referee Rapallini whistled a penalty for Pavard’s foul on Zuber after a video referee kick and the replay was recorded, but his teammate Rodríguez was caught by goalkeeper Lloris.
The world champions and vice-champions of Europe have marked this moment a lot. Mbappé had a few good chances to reply, but home side goalkeeper Benzema just didn’t want to surrender.
The Real Madrid forward turned his score around Griezmann’s arc in just two minutes. Benzema called up Czech Schick’s second-best scorer with the tournament’s fourth goal. Eliminated Portugal’s Ronaldo leads the gunner standings with five hits.
The dominant Frenchman added a third goal in the 75th minute. Pogba almost increased the visitors’ lead when he found himself completely unmarked in front of the goal after a pass in the middle, but he lifted the ball over Pogba and he was a little too high and hit the closed off. The Manchester United midfielder has touched the national team for the first time since the 2018 World Cup final with Croatia.
However, the seemingly written-off Swiss unexpectedly returned to the game. In the 81st minute, Seferovic slashed the lead with a second goal and in the last minute he equalized with an accurate shot from substitute Gavranovic, whose previous goal was not called due to offside. On the other hand, the Coman alternately could cut in the frame, but he cheated the crossbar.
“After the penalty kick we were in a really difficult situation. I’m proud of the team’s return to the game. Even before the game we thought that whatever happened we would play to the end and not would not give up, ”Sommer said.
Extra time did not offer football as captivating as the second half, but France had the upper hand. In the first part, Pavard was caught by Sommer, the Swiss goal of the second quarter of an hour was missed by the troubled Mbappé and the head of the substitute Giroud did not catch up.
On penalties, shooters dominated goalkeepers for a long time, but after nine converted attempts in a row, striker Mbappé failed and “crowned” his unsuccessful tournament, in which he did not score a single goal. France failed to advance to the quarter-finals of the big tournament for the first time since the 2010 World Cup. The Swiss were in the top eight of the big tournament for the first time since the 1954 World Cup. welcomed.
European Football Championship:
Round of 16 (Bucharest):
France v Switzerland 3: 3 after extra time (3: 3, 0: 1), on penalties 4: 5
Goals: 57th and 59th Benzema, 75th Pogba – 15th and 81st Seferovic, 90th Gavranovic. Modified sanction: Pogba, Giroud, Thuram, Kimpembe – Gavranovic, Schär, Akanji, Vargas, Mehmedi. Not penalized: Mbappé (France). Judges: Rapallini – Belatti, Bonfa (all Arg.) – Martínez Munuera (video, p.). ZK: Varane, Coman, Pavard – Elvedi, Rodriguez, Xhaka, Akanji. Attendance: 23,894 (limited number).
Francie: Lloris – Varane, Lenglet (46. Coman, 111. Thuram), Kimpembe – Pavard, Pogba, Kanté, Rabiot – Griezmann (88. Sissoko) – Mbappé, Benzema (94. Giroud). Trenér: Deschamps.
Switzerland: Sommer – Elvedi, Akanji, Rodríguez (87. Mehmedi) – Widmer (73. Mbabu), Freuler, Xhaka, Zuber (79. Fassnacht) – Shaqiri (73. Gavranovic) – Seferovic (97. Schär), Embolo (79 Vargas). Coach: Petkovic.
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