By Azuka Christopher in London
SAT 03 JULY, 2021-theGBJournal- Spain beat the tenacious Swiss 3-1 in a dramatic penalty shootout to book their place in the semi-finals of the Euro 2020 Friday.
Spain, three-time champions, were stunned in the entire game by the spirited effort of the Swiss who played 10-man down for more than an hour of the absorbing game at the Saint Petersburg Stadium-St. Petersburg, Russia.
Spain scored first from a wicked deflection in the eighth minute but Switzerland forced the extra time in the 68th minute after the alpine Messi and Swiss captain, Xherden Shaqiri scored a brilliant goal following a mistake by Spanish defenders. Things were to turn negative nine minutes later when Swiss midfielder Remo Freuler was sent off for a dangerous tackle.
Spain will now play Italy in the Semi-Finals at Wembley Stadium, England.
Italy meanwhile secured a comfortable 2-1 win over one of the tournaments favourites Belgium, going 2-nil up inside the half hour mark before Romano Lukaku pulled one back for Belgium from the penalty spot after a careless challenge on Jeremy Doku inside the penalty box.
Sublime strikes by Italy’s Nicolo Barella and Lorenzo Insigne secured the win for Italy to set up the semi-final clash against Spain. Italy, like Belgium, produced confident display throughout in the thrilling 90 minutes encounter.
‘’To beat a team like Belgium you need a great performance by everybody and this is exactly what happened today,’’ Italy’s head coach Roberto Mancini said after the match.
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