France and Switzerland played out an enthralling 120 minutes in Bucharest in their last 16 Euro 2020 clash in which winner was ultimately decided via penalty shoot.
The Swiss were the first to break the duck with a Seferovic headed beauty in the 15th minute. The goal awoken the French who pushed all their arsenal on the Swiss seeking an equalizer which never came before the break.
Following the break, Switzerland were presented with the opportunity to increase their lead when play was brought back to enable a VAR review that the concluded that Raphael Varane had committed a foul in the box when he fell a Swiss player earlier. Hugo Lloris had different ideas and expertly denied the Swiss from 12 yards out by saving Seferovic’s spot kick. That save gave the French new hope and confidence to attack.
Karem Benzema who was kept quiet in the entire first 45 minutes sprung up to life and shot France to the lead by scrambling over Mbappe back heel before skipping past Yann Sommer to slot in the equalizer in the 57th minute.
The second soon followed and Benzema again was at hand to head into an empty net after the Swiss goalkeeper paried a ball towards the left post.
Paul Pogba wonder strike from outside the box seem to have killed the game in the 75th minute until Seferovic rose to the occasion to head in his second of the day to make it 3-2 and giving the Swiss hope of their own comeback.
Gavranovic who came in for Shedan Shaqiri had one in the net but was disallowed for being in an offside position. He soon would get his goal in the 90th minute and the important one that sent the match into extra time.
Both sides pushed for the winner in added time and France came agonizingly close through Kingsley Coman only to be denied by the bar.
The first half of extra time saw the Swiss drawing an early save from Lloris before France also forced his Swiss counterpart to produce an expert to keep the game level. And a similar pattern followed in the second 15 minutes of the extra 30 minutes as both sides struggled to find the winner to avoid the nervous penalty drills that stared them in the faces.
Their most dreaded moment soon arrived after they ended the extra time still level. The Swiss would go lucky with all their five players slotting past Hugo Lloris and Yann Sommer who turned the Swiss hero made Paris Saint Germain super star Kylian Mbappe the villain for the French by saving his kick to send his Swiss side through to the quarter finals. The Swiss are making the debut appearance in the quarter finals of the European championship and this is their first ever meeting with France in major tournament.
Awaiting the Swiss in the next round is neighbours Italy and if they are to advance further they must beat Roberto Mancini’s side to do so.