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Euro 2020 Round of 16: World Cup Champions France Crashes Out as Spain, Switzerland Forge Quarterfinal Tie : SOCCER : Sports World News




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Swiss players celebrate win against France

Switzerland’s players celebrate their win in the UEFA EURO 2020 round of 16 football match between France and Switzerland at the National Arena in Bucharest on June 28, 2021. (Photo : JUSTIN SETTERFIELD/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Monday’s round of 16 matches in the Euro 2020 tournament delivered all the drama and all the goals, with Spain and Switzerland recording thrilling victories over Croatia and France, respectively. 

The round of 16 concludes later today with two critical matchups, with England taking on Germany, and Sweden squaring off with Ukraine.

Mbappe penalty miss sends Switzerland through

Standing in Spain’s way in the quarterfinals is the Swiss, who delivered a shock result against reigning World Cup champions France. Looking down and out after falling behind 3-1 after Paul Pogba’s wonder goal, Switzerland also produced a miraculous comeback of their own, scoring twice in the dying minutes to send the match into extra time.

Haris Seferovic scored a header in the 81st minute for his second goal that gave some life to Switzerland. Substitute Mario Gavranovic completed the comeback after hammering an equalizer in the 90th minute to make it 3-3.

France dominated in the next 30 minutes as they searched for the winning goal. Kylian Mbappe wasted several goal-scoring opportunities during this period, and Olivier Giroud had a fantastic header saved in the final minute that could have sent France through.

France was left to rue those misses as Switzerland eventually prevailed in the lottery, that is, the penalty shootout. It was Mbappe again who was the culprit, missing the crucial spot-kick to give Switzerland the famous win, their first in a major tournament knockout game since 1938.

Related ArticleEuro 2020 Round of 16: Belgium, Czech Republic Barge Into Quarterfinals, Portugal and Netherlands Exit Tournament

Spain prevails in eight-goal thriller

Spain barged into the quarterfinals of Euro 2020 after recording a heart-stopping 5-3 victory over Croatia on Monday. It was a fantastic win by the Spaniards, who became the first side in the history of the European Championship to score five or more goals in back-to-back matches.

However, it was Croatia who opened the scoring in the 20th minute with Pedri netting a horrendous own goal from near the halfway line after keeper Unai Simon failed to control the former’s back pass.

The Spaniards were able to equalize, though, before the break, with Pablo Sarabia scoring a thumping strike in the 38th minute. Spain looked to be on their way to a comfortable win after Cesar Azpilicueta, and Ferran Torres bagged goals in the second half to make it 3-1.

There was no quit, however, with the Croatians as they staged a comeback for the ages in the dying minutes of the second half. Substitutes Mislav Orsic and Mario Pasalic scored twice in the game’s final five minutes to send the match into extra time. They could have gone in front soon after, but Orsic fired just over the bar minutes, and Andrej Kramaric was denied by Simon, who produced a fantastic stop.

That proved costly for Croatia as Spain took the lead just moments later, with Alvaro Morata scoring the eventual match-winner in the 100th minute. Mikel Oyarzabal scored Spain’s fifth goal three minutes later to finally end Croatia’s challenge and seal their place in the quarterfinals.

Switzerland and Spain will continue their journey in the quarterfinals in St. Petersburg on Friday.

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