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Swiss Euro football dream ends with heartbreak against Spain

Yann Sommer watches the ball go into the net
Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer turned in a fine display but could not stop Spain from winning the quarterfinal on penalties. Keystone / Anton Vaganov

Switzerland crashed out of the European football championship by losing their quarterfinal match against Spain on penalties on Friday.

The match ended 1-1 after extra-time but Spain scored three penalties to Switzerland’s one in the Euro 2020 knock-out tie in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Spain took an early lead via an own goal by Denis Zakaria but talismanic Swiss striker Xherdan Shaqiri equalized in the 68th minute.

Nine minutes later, Swiss midfielder Remo Freuler was sent off for a foul, but Switzerland held on to force the game into extra-time.

Spain dominated the final 30 minutes of play, raining shots in on the Swiss goal but a string of fine saves by goalkeeper Yann Sommer kept his side in the game.

For the second game in a row Switzerland were involved in a penalty shoot-out to determine the final result. On this occasion, their opponents, Spain, held their nerve better to convert three penalties to a solitary Swiss effort.

Switzerland had reached the quarterfinals of a major tournament for the first time since 1954 with a dramatic victory against France earlier in the week.

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