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SPORTS

Spain reach Euro semi-finals with penalties win v Switzerland

FOOTBALL By Reuters | July 2nd 2021
Football - Euro 2020 - Quarter Final - Switzerland v Spain - Saint Petersburg Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia - July 2, 2021. Spain's Gerard Moreno celebrates after the match with teammates. [REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov]

Spain's Mikel Oyarzabal struck the winning penalty after Switzerland's Ruben Vargas fired over the bar as Spain won 3-1 in a shootout following a 1-1 draw in their European Championship quarter-final in Saint Petersburg on Friday.

In open play, Spain took an early lead when Jordi Alba’s shot from outside the box was deflected into his own net by Denis Zakaria. But Xherdan Shaqiri profited from a defensive error to level the score at 1-1, before the Swiss lost midfielder Remo Freuler to a straight red card on 77 minutes.

Not surprisingly given their numerical advantage, Spain dominated extra time and created a host of chances as Switzerland played for spot-kicks, perhaps mindful that their opponents had missed their last five penalties, including two against them in a Nations League game in November.

Spain will meet the winner of Friday’s other quarter-final - Belgium v Italy in Munich - in the semi-finals in London on Tuesday.

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