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England Reach Euros Semis After Tense Penalty Shootout

  • July 6, 2024
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England Reach Euros Semis After Tense Penalty Shootout

England, despite unconvincing form throughout Euro 2024, have booked their place in the semi-finals with a dramatic 5-4 penalty shootout victory over Switzerland in Dusseldorf.

This makes Gareth Southgate the first England manager to reach the third semi-final in the last four major tournaments.

The match finished 1-1 after 120 minutes. Breel Embolo put Switzerland ahead in the 75th minute, but Bukayo Saka equalized for England with a superb strike five minutes later. His penalty in the shootout wasn’t the cleanest, but it found the net after his miss in the Euro 2021 final.

England will now face either Netherlands or Turkey in the semi-final on Wednesday in Dortmund. The other quarter final will be played later on Saturday.

Despite entering as favorites (winning 18 of their last 27 encounters against Switzerland), England faced a determined Swiss side fresh off their win over Italy. The first half was a cagey affair, with both teams struggling to create clear chances.

The second half saw Switzerland take control, with their persistence rewarded in the 75th minute by Embolo’s tap-in. England responded swiftly. Manager Southgate introduced substitutes who revitalized the attack, and Saka’s beautifully curled shot restored parity within a minute.

Extra time failed to produce a winner, with Declan Rice forcing a good save from Yann Sommer and Xherdan Shaqiri hitting the crossbar for Switzerland.

The penalty shootout saw drama unfold. England took an early lead through Cole Palmer’s successful penalty and a save from Jordan Pickford. Both teams converted their next two penalties, keeping the tension high. Ivan Toney and Zeki Amdouni scored next, leaving the fate of the match on Trent Alexander-Arnold’s shoulders. The Liverpool defender stepped up coolly, sending his penalty into the top corner and securing England’s semi-final berth.

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Nkanyiso Mchunu

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