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Euro 2024: Saka shines as England beat Switzerland on penalties to book semis spot, set to face Netherlands

In a gripping quarter-final showdown at the Euro 2024 tournament, England demonstrated resilience and nerve as they overcame Switzerland in a thrilling penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw following extra time in Dusseldorf Arena on Saturday night.

Football Euro 2024: Saka shines as England beat Switzerland on penalties to book semis spot, set to face Netherlands Snt
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First Published Jul 7, 2024, 2:59 AM IST

In a gripping quarter-final showdown at the Euro 2024 tournament, England demonstrated resilience and nerve as they overcame Switzerland in a thrilling penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw following extra time in Dusseldorf Arena on Saturday night.

The match began with both teams cautious yet eager to assert dominance. England, under Gareth Southgate’s tactical shift to a 3-4-2-1 formation, aimed to capitalize on the pace and directness of Arsenal star Bukayo Saka down the right flank. Saka, in particular, shone brightly in the first half, becoming England's primary attacking outlet, although clear-cut chances were scarce for both sides at halftime.

The intensity heightened in the second half as Switzerland's Breel Embolo tested England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford early on, only to be denied twice in quick succession. However, Embolo found the breakthrough in the 75th minute, ghosting in to tap home and give Switzerland a crucial lead.

England responded swiftly with Saka once again proving pivotal. The Arsenal winger cut inside from the right flank in the 80th minute, unleashing a precise low shot into the far corner to equalize, keeping England's hopes alive.

As the game progressed into extra time, both teams pushed for a winner. England came close through Declan Rice, whose curling effort was brilliantly saved by Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer, ensuring the deadlock persisted.

With neither side able to break through after 120 minutes, the match proceeded to a nerve-wracking penalty shootout. Jordan Pickford was the star as he saved Manuel Akanji’s penalty, with Trent Alexander-Arnold wrapping up a 5-3 triumph to set up a tantalizing semi-final clash against either the Netherlands.

The resilient performance by England showcased their determination and ability to handle pressure, marking a significant step forward in their quest for Euro 2024 glory.

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