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Switzerland shocks France

France beaten on penalties. PHOTO @FrenchTeam

Croatia 3 Spain 5 (AET)
France 3 (4) Switzerland 3 (5) (AET)

Bucharest, Hungary | THE INDEPENDENT | What a night – well, what a day of EURO football. And it ends with the world champions, two goals ahead with nine minutes to go, knocked out on penalties by Switzerland. An exemplary shoot-out until the last when Sommer denied Mbappé and it’s the Swiss who are celebrating in Bucharest.

Dejection for France, and delight for the Swiss, who head now to St Petersburg on Friday to face Spain in the quarter-finals.

Earlier, Spain are through to their first major tournament quarter-final since 2012 after shrugging off a dramatic late Croatia comeback to prevail 5-3 after extra time – the second-highest-scoring game in EURO history.

Croatia took the lead against the run of play and in unusual fashion when keeper Unai Simón misjudged Pedri’s long-distance back pass. Luis Enrique’s side were level before half-time, though, Pablo Sarabia firing in the rebound after Dominik Livaković had parried José Gayà’s effort.

When César Azpilicueta headed in his first international goal and Ferran Torres finished low past Livaković to double Spain’s lead with just 13 minutes left, the game looked to be up. But that was barely the start to this round of 16 epic.

Substitute Mislav Oršić scrambled one back for Croatia but it was not until added time that the turnaround was complete. Another replacement, Mario Pašalić met Oršić’s pinpoint cross from the left with an emphatic header. Cue mayhem.

It would have been 4-3 Croatia just six minutes into extra time had Unai Simón not somehow kept out Andrej Kramarić’s effort – a moment of redemption that proved a turning point.

Álvaro Morata was next to turn his fortunes round when, with 100 minutes on the clock, he controlled Dani Olmo’s cross and rifled into the net. From another Olmo centre, his fellow subtitute Mikel Oyarzabal restored the two-goal Spanish cushion which had felt a lifetime ago.



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