UEFA Euro 2024 – England v Switzerland in the quarter-finals

by Lorraine Williamson
England v Switzerland

FOOTBALL – England avoided elimination, and scraped through to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Euro 2024 after two late goals going into stoppage time meant they came from  0-1 down to winning 2-1. In the quarter-finals they took on Switzerland at Dusseldorf Arena.

The first 15 minutes of the match was fairly uneventful. Just a passing game with most of the play in the mid-section. Then Kane picked up possession in the penalty area and passed to Mainoo who sent a powerful shot towards goal, but it was blocked by Rodriguez.

Twenty minutes in, and England had a corner from a cross into the box by Saka which was put out of danger by Schar. Trippier took it and sent it to Harry Kane who headered it high and wide.

Twenty-five minutes in, and it almost felt like the match was over. There was no imagination from either side. Just passing, more passing, and pass-backs with a couple of half-hearted attempts at goal. Possession was more or less equal, but England at this point had 3 chances at goal against Switzerland´s 1. However, non of these chances were shots on target.

At the 30-minute mark, the play was the same except the game had shifted from the mid-section to in front of the Swiss goal. Despite this, England still didn´t create the chances they needed.

As the game approached the end of the first half, it looked like neither side would score. However, in the final minute of normal time, from inside the penalty area, Saka laid the ball off to Mainoo on the edge of the 6-yard box, but Xhaka went in for the tackle and Mainoo´s shot was deflected.

The first half ended goalless with hardly any action for both keepers.

Second half

One minute in, and Bellingham took the ball up the field towards the Swiss goal, but it was easily intercepted. The second half had started the same way with no real action and lots of one-touch static passes. Then Embolo got the first shot on target and almost scored for Switzerland, but it was easily saved.

As it approached the 1-hour mark, I was trying not to fall asleep when Switzerland had a break and won a corner. Vargas stepped up, but his shot resulted in another corner which was taken by Rieder. Both corners were unsuccessful. The majority of the play in this segment has been in front of the England goal.

Yellow card and first goal

Harry Kane was shown the yellow card after 67 minutes of play. The Swiss fans were getting more vocal in their support, but Switzerland seemed to be playing a defensive game. Then in the 74th minute, A cross from Vargas into the six-yard box was flicked on by Stones which landed right at the feet of Embolo who tucked it in the net. It was 0-1 for Switzerland.

With 15 minutes remaining England had to push everything forward to have a chance. Finally, the game ramped up a notch. Just 5 minutes after the Swiss scored, England got their goal. Saka scored with a magnificent shot from outside the box, off the inside of the far post, and into the bottom left corner.

Ten minutes of normal time were remaining and the game ramped up another notch. Where was this energy earlier in the game?

The play was now frantic as one goal could seal victory for either side, otherwise it would go to extra time. It was now attack and counterattack. But at the end of the 90 minutes, it was still a goal apiece. Three minutes of stoppage time were added. But despite a fantastic late attempt by Ndoye of Switzerland, the game ended 1-1. It was going to extra time.

Extra time – first half

Finally, the play was more of an attacking game from both sides, but there was still a lot of passing in the mid-field. Then, out of nowhere came a chance for England when Declan Rice took a shot at goal, but the Swiss goalkeeper made a fantastic save. England were pressing but Saca and Bellingham both failed to convert their chances. The clock was ticking. The first half of extra time ended still 1-1.

Extra time – second half

Once again, although the pace has increased, the match is mainly boring with many passes and not much attacking or defending. But then Switzerland nearly scored after Widmer picked up possession in the England penalty area and crossed to Zakaria on the far post, but it was sent away by a diving Stones. Another chance for Switzerland as Shaqiri sent his shot off the post. Switzerland were fighting for that decisive goal. Yet another chance came when a minute after he came on as a sub, Amdouni sent a powerful strike from the 18 yards out, but Pickford managed to make the save.

The play was frantic in the last minute of extra time. But neither side managed a goal. Penalties were going to decide the winner.

Penalties

First up was Palmer for England who scored when he sent the keeper the wrong way. Next up, Akanji for Switzerland missed. Bellingham and Schar both scored. Saka sent the keeper the wrong way and scored as did the Shaqiri. Toney and Amdouni both scored, but when Trent Alexander-Arnold scored England´s 5th penalty, it was all over for Switzerland. Saka won Player of the Match and England were through to the semi-finals of UEFA Euro 2024.

Other matches

In last night´s other quarter-final Turkey took on the Netherlands in Berlin. Turkey were first to score after 35 minutes on the clock. Thirty-five minutes later, the Dutch side got the equaliser. Then, in the 76th minute of play, the Netherlands got their second goal by way of an own goal from Turkey´s Muldur. The match ended 2-1 and with a red card for Yildirim of Turkey.

The Netherlands were through and will face England on Wednesday at 9.00 pm. The winners between France and Spain, and England and the Netherlands will play off in the final a week today.

Also read: Round of 16 – full review

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