Euro 2024: Astonishing Bukayo Saka Inspires England To Quarter-final Victory Over Switzerland

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At the cusp of elimination, England clawed their way back to ultimately defeat Switzerland via the duel of spot kicks, after settling for a 1-1 draw in regulation time.

England bossed possession in the first 45 minutes of the Euro 2024 encounter, but Gareth Southgate’s side lacked urgency in the final third.

Switzerland were content with containing the Three Lions while hoping to punish England when they break on the counter.

There was a paucity of chances for both sides in the opening 45 minutes, with the best falling to the Three Lions.

Bukayo Saka went past Vargas before going around the outside of Aebischer with an intriguing drop of the shoulder to drive into a position inside the penalty area on the byline.

Saka subsequently served the ball to Mainoo on the edge of the six-yard area, however, the Manchester United prodigy’s effort was deflected for a corner by a well-timed tackle by Granite Xhaka.

The first period ended with both teams level at the break, with plenty to do in the second period.

Switzerland Took The Game To England In The Opening Minutes Of The Second Half

Switzerland started the second half with much urgency and purpose, engineering attacking moves that eventually paid off in the 75th minute, as Breel Embolo poked them in front.

Five minutes later, Bukayo Saka put Gareth Southgate’s men back on level terms, with a delightful effort directed to the inside of the far post, after receiving a pass from Declan Rice.

The regulation time ended with Switzerland having a big chance, after Fabian Schar sent in a dangerous cross into the penalty box, intending for Embolo.

Unfortunately, the chance went begging, as Kyle Walker managed to put off the attacker, with ball changing its direction towards Ndoye, whose header didn’t trouble England.

The encounter ended with both sides level at full time, with extra-time being the next point of call and possibly penalties.

England saw a big chance in the 5th minute of extra time, as Declan Rice smashed a breathtaking attempt from 30 yards out, forcing Swiss goalie Yann Sommer to make a big save by tipping the ball away for a corner.

The Three Lions pressurized Switzerland for much of the extra-period, as they sought to notch themselves ahead.

The Astute Defence Of England Thwarted The Efforts Of Switzerland

Murat Yakin’s side had an opportunity to score their second of the evening in the 113th minute after substitute Silvan Widmer delivered a low cross to the far post for Zakaria, but the attacking move was thwarted after the ball was hooked away by John Stones.

In the 119th minute, Switzerland had a chance to break the hearts of English fans, as Amdouni struck a wicked shot from 18 yards out, which Everton shot-stopper Jordan Pickford had to parry away with two strong fists.

England and Switzerland
Is It Coming Home This Time?

Following regulation time alongside extra-time both teams could not be separated and penalties were needed to settle the affair.

Cole Palmer, Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka, Ivan Toney, and Trent Alexander-Arnold all expertly converted their penalties, while Manchester City’s Manuel Akanji’s miss proved costly for Switzerland.

Fabian Schar, Xhedan Shaquiri and Zek Amdouni subsequently tucked away their spot kicks, but it was not enough, as England head to the semi-finals with a 5-3 win on penalties over Murat Yakin’s men.

England’s Hero, Bukayo Saka

Bukayo Saka ran the show for the Three Lions, showing class and exuding brilliance throughout the encounter.

Saka remarkable showing resulted in him becoming the first ever Arsenal player to score for England at both the Men’s FIFA World Cup and the UEFA European Championships.

Bukayo Saka has now netted 11 goals and provided assists in 38 appearances for England.

England showed steel, composure and bravery in the shootout, with all of their takers showing why they were handed the responsibility of taking the penalties.

Who Will The Three Lions Play In The Semi-finals?

Meanwhile, Gareth Southgate’s side will battle the winner between the Netherlands and Turkiye in the semi-finals.

The encounter will go down at Westfalenstadion in Dortmund by 08:00 PM (WAT) on Wednesday, July 10, 2024.

England are two steps away from glory and it will be fascinating to see if they can go all the way with their litany of stars.

The Three Lions lost to Italy via penalties in the 2020 European Championship final. They have the chance to atone for their errors this time around.

It must be said that they have played tournament football all through and despite their seemingly shaky display, they have managed to grind out the needed results thus far.

Anyway, Gareth Southgate’s side set their sights on the last 4, and it will be fascinating to see if they can defeat the winner of the clash between the Netherlands and Turkiye.

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