Kylian Mbappe missed the crucial penalty on Monday as world champions France were sent packing from Euro 2020 in a shoot-out against Switzerland, who go through to a quarter-final tie against Spain after an unforgettable day of drama which featured a total of 14 goals in two games.
Switzerland had never won a knockout tie at the European Championship and had never won a shoot-out, but they triumphed 5-4 on penalties against the World Cup holders after a remarkable 3-3 draw in Bucharest.
“It is painful,” said France captain Hugo Lloris. “We are the world champions, so to go out in the last 16 is not a good result.”
France, who came into the tournament as favourites to add the continental crown to the World Cup they won in Russia three years ago, had earlier come from 1-0 down to lead 3-1 and looked to be cruising through with Paul Pogba in fine form, only to concede two late goals.
The game in the Romanian capital followed a 5-3 extra-time win for Spain over Croatia in Copenhagen, and the 2008 and 2012 European champions will face the Swiss in the last eight in Saint Petersburg on Friday.
Somehow the drama in Bucharest topped that in Copenhagen earlier, when Alvaro Morata netted an all-important goal as Spain prevailed in extra time against the 2018 World Cup runners-up, but only after they also let slip a 3-1 lead.
Luka Modric’s Croatia came back to force the extra half-hour but that was when Morata controlled a cross and volleyed home in the 100th minute. Mikel Oyarzabal then secured Spain’s victory in what was the highest-scoring game at a European Championship since the opening match of the very first tournament in 1960, when Yugoslavia defeated hosts France 5-4.
Here are reactions to the epic day of football at Euro 2020:
Inputs from AFP
Respond to this article with a post
Share your perspective on this article with a post on ScrollStack, and send it to your followers.