Euro 2020: Mikel Oyarzabal scored the decisive penalty to give Spain a spot in the semifinals by beating Switzerland 3-1 in the shootout after a 1-1 draw.

Goalkeeper Unai Simon was the hero as Spain edged past 10-man Switzerland 3-1 on penalties on Friday to set up a Euro 2020 semi-final against Italy. Points Table

After a 1-1 draw in Saint Petersburg which saw the Swiss play for 43 minutes a man down, Simon made two saves in the shoot-out to help keep Spain’s bid for a record fourth European crown alive.

It was heartbreak for Switzerland, which were bidding to reach the semi-finals of a major tournament for the first time in their history. Spain forged ahead early on when Denis Zakaria put through his own net, but Switzerland was the better side for long periods and Xherdan Shaqiri, standing in for the suspended Granit Xhaka as captain, equalised in the 68th minute.

Spain’s players and coaching staff ran onto the field at Saint Petersburg Stadium while many from the Switzerland team fell to their knees after Mikel Oyarzabal struck the decisive penalty to earn La Roja’s a spot in the semi-finals of Euro 2020. Oyarzabal scored past goalkeeper Yann Sommer, whose Penalty save on France striker Kylian Mbappe’s shot in a shootout in the round of 16 had put Switzerland into the quarterfinals for the first time.

Switzerland had scored all five from the spot against World Cup champion France but failed with three of its four attempts this time against Spain. Spain keeper Unai Simon saved Switzerland’s Manuel Akanji and Fabian Schar’s spot-kick while Ruben Vargas hammered his shot over the bar.

Star of the Match: Unai Simón (Spain)

“For his two saves in the penalty shoot-out.”
Mixu Paatelainen, UEFA Technical Observer

Luis Enrique, Spain coach: “We are so proud. It’d be ridiculous to think that we, or any of the semi-finalists, would sign for just getting that far now – all of us want to get to the final and win.”

Gerard Moreno, Spain forward: “We’ll resolve our various errors by working on the training ground. You make a mistake and the test is being mentally strong. Right now, I feel a ‘liberation that we’ve won. If not, I think the misses would have played on my mind.”

Unai Simón, Spain goalkeeper: “We have to go into the semi-final fresh, confident and with our heads high. We have to win the EURO now.”

Mikel Oyarzabal, Spain forward: “There was no room for failure and, luckily, I put my penalty in. As you walk up, there are so many things going through your head and the ‘road’ seems long to get there.”

Xherdan Shaqiri, Switzerland forward: “I’m really proud of the team. Penalties are a bit 50-50. I was nervous watching the shoot-out. I think we just lacked a little bit of luck today.”

Line-ups

Switzerland: Sommer; Elvedi, Akanji, Rodríguez; Widmer (Mbabu 100), Freuler, Zakaria (Schär 101), Zuber (Fassnacht 90+2); Shaqiri (Sow 81), Embolo (Vargas 23); Seferović (Gavranović 82)

Spain: Unai Simón; Azpilicueta, Pau Torres (Thiago Alcántara 113), Laporte, Alba; Koke (Llorente 90+1), Busquets, Pedri (Rodri 119); Sarabia (Olmo 46), Morata (Gerard Moreno 54), Ferran Torres (Oyarzabal 91)

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