Switzerland will play the quarterfinals against Spain in Saint Petersburg this Friday at the expense of France. After a nerve-wracking extension, penalties had to decide the eighth final. Switzerland was the lucky one in that. The world champion is out.
France played against Portugal, Germany and Hungary in 4-3-3 or 4-3-2-1 in the group phase, but national coach Didier Deschamps decided to change Switzerland and switch to 5-3-2, especially the timing surprised many in France.
France managed to get a hard grip on the tough Swiss, but was given the first chance of the race through Raphaël Varane. Not entirely surprising was the opening goal for Switzerland, which immediately took advantage of the first chance. But it did get help from Clément Lenglet. The defender shot in a duel with Haris Seferovic, who managed to nod in without too much effort.
The early against victim did not wake France up. In fact, most of the threat came from Switzerland, where Breel Embolo caused a lot of trouble to French defense. However, the 0-2 continued to save France, while Adrien Rabiot missed a chance at 1-1.
Bizarre second halfThe race completely tilted after rest. Switzerland hoped to lamb France early in the second half and was given an excellent opportunity to do so. The Swiss cried for a penalty after one of their players was taken down. The arbitration went along with that. Former PSV man Ricardo Rodríguez had the chance to shoot Switzerland in safe harbor, but failed eye-to-eye with Hugo Lloris, who stopped his first penalty kick in nine years.
That turned out to be exactly what France needed. The French were stuck, but were helped by the save of Lloris and came to the same height by Karim Benzema less than a minute later. And less than two minutes later it was hit for Benzema again and the comeback was complete. France seemed to be on and about it, but kept Switzerland alive.
In the final phase, France thought it was a definitive distance from Switzerland. Paul Pogba shot the ball in a fantastic way from 25 meters to make the Swiss seemed dry, but nothing was less true. Switzerland kicked the accelerator again and brought the tension back by Seferovic by nine minutes on the clock.
Everything and everyone in Switzerland thought about the equalizer three minutes later, but Mario Gavranovic saw his hit be rejected for offside. It has been a matter of stopping France in the last few minutes. That almost succeeded. Almost, because Gavranovic put Switzerland in ecstasy in minute 90 with the equalizer, who did count this time. Kingsley Coman was still close to preventing an extension in the 95th minute, but he shot the bar.
extensionThe best thing was not yet to go with Switzerland and France in the renewal. Benjamin Pavard soon had the 4-3 on his shoe, but saw his bet turned by goalkeeper Yann Sommer. And on behalf of France, Coman missed an opportunity.
The pipe seemed empty for most players when the second half started. The normally deadly Kylian Mbappé missed chance after chance and left a chance on the lead in the 111st minute. Invader Olivier Giroud had the 4-3 on his shoe shortly afterwards, but shot the shoes of Mbappé, signed for the bad luck that the striker had had. Sommer managed to become a star in Switzerland in extremis by parting a Giroud header. No goals in the extension, but it did give the contest the dessert it deserved.
In the first penalties of this tournament, Switzerland and France kept cool. Both countries were still flawless after four penalties. When Admir Mehmedi took advantage of the fifth Swiss penalty kick, Mbappé spoke. The striker missed and thats why Switzerland moves on to the quarterfinals.