England see off Swiss on penalties to reach Euro 2024 semis

England are through to the semi-finals of UEFA Euro 2024 after defeating Switzerland 5-3 on penalties - with Harry Kane replaced shortly before the shootout in Düsseldorf.

Jul 7, 2024 - 00:00
England see off Swiss on penalties to reach Euro 2024 semis

England 1-1 Switzerland (5-3 on pens.)
Goals: 1-0 Embolo 75' (assist: Ndoye), 1-1 Saka 80' 

The sun came out for kick-off in Düsseldorf, and England's switch to a back three brought greater energy and creativity. It did not bring a shot on target in the first 45 minutes, however, as Bayern Munich forward and England captain Harry Kane was kept under close watch by former Borussia Dortmund defender Manuel Akanji. Bukayo Saka, featuring as a right-wing back, was England's most enterprising player, bursting past Michel Aebischer on a number of occasions but his crosses failed to lead to a significant chance. That was because Switzerland defended well, embodied by the lunge captain and Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Granit Xhaka produced to poke the ball away from a well-placed Kobbie Mainoo in the first-half's closing stages. Murat Yakin's men had looked most likely to threaten on the counter-attack with the pacy Dan Ndoye linking with former Schalke and Borussia Mönchengladbach man Breel Embolo, but for all the promise, they too failed to produce real danger. We had to wait for the drama, which happened in the space of five second-half minutes: first, Embolo lunged to turn an Ndoye cross past Jordan Pickford before Saka brilliantly bent in an equaliser. Substitute Xherdan Shaqiri very nearly won it in extra-time, but - direct from a corner - smacked his effort off the angle between near post and crossbar. Akanji was left in tears at full-time after he missed Switzerland's very first penalty and Alexander-Arnold - brought on late in extra-time - smashed home England's fifth to set up a last-four tie with the Netherlands or Türkiye.

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