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Switzerland into quarter-finals after France’s Kylian Mbappe misses in shootout

France Switzerland

And breathe.

France and Switzerland had a tough act to follow after Spain and Croatia played out a thrill-a-minute match on Monday evening but, wow, did the day’s second match deliver and then some.

There were twists and turns, stunning individual performances, near-misses and some tremendous football played by both sides.

France were expected to coast through the Euro 2020 Round of 16 tie against Switzerland but the cat was thrown among the pigeons when Haris Seferovic opened the scoring for Vladimir Petkovic’s side and it was the Swiss who led 1-0 at half-time.

France Switzerland

Switzerland opened the scoring against France

The second half was as breathless as it was entertaining, with Ricardo Rodriguez seeing his penalty saved by French captain Hugo Lloris just a minute before Karim Benzema equalised with a goal that cannot be mentioned without special praise for his first touch in the box.

Benzema found the net again a couple of minutes later when he headed home from close range and when Paul Pogba fired home a spectacular strike from outside the area, the writing looked to be on the wall.

But Switzerland refused to give in and Seferovic gave his team something to fight for with 10 minutes remaining. The drama reached fever pitch when Mario Gavranovic ensured extra time when he brought the game to 3-3 in the dying moments.

Fatigue clearly began playing a part in extra time as players began hitting the deck with exhaustion but the pace hardly dropped and both sides had chances to find a winner.

But for the first time at Euro 2020, a penalty shootout was required to decide a victor.

Nine perfect penalties meant that all the pressure lay at the right foot of Kylian Mbappe, who has flattered to deceive at the tournament.

The Paris Saint-Germain talisman never looked confident from the spot and his effort was comfortably saved by Swiss stopper Yann Sommer.

Next up for Switzerland is a clash with Spain on Friday evening while France’s Euro 2020 campaign has come to an end.

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