England beat Switzerland in penalty shootout to reach Euro 2024 semi-finals

The Three Lions edge Switzerland 5-3 on penalties

By Web Desk
July 06, 2024
Jude Bellingham celebrates after converting his penalty. - AFP

England reached the semi-finals of Euro 2024 on Saturday after defeating Switzerland 5-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in the quarter-finals.

Cole Palmer, Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka, Ivan Toney and Trent Alexander-Arnold converted their penalties to send England into a semi-final meeting with Turkey or the Netherlands in Dortmund on Wednesday.

After needing Bellingham's 95th-minute equaliser before going on to beat Slovakia in extra time in the last 16, England were again staring at defeat with 10 minutes remaining.

A dreary encounter for the first 75 minutes came to life after Breel Embolo put Switzerland ahead.

Saka's fine strike from outside the box levelled with England's first shot on target five minutes later.

Manchester City defender Akanji was then the unfortunate penalty villain as Switzerland's dismal record in major tournament quarter-finals continues.

They have now lost five without ever reaching a semi-final.

In contrast, England march on despite another in a series of underwhelming performances from Gareth Southgate's men.

In his 100th match in charge of his country, Southgate again resisted calls for mass changes in personnel but did alter his system.

Ezri Konsa made his first-ever competitive international start in place of the suspended Marc Guehi as England switched to a back three.

However, contrary to expectation, Saka remained on the right in what proved to be an inspired decision by Southgate.

The Arsenal winger was by far the biggest threat in a first half in which neither side managed a shot on target.

England had won only one of five previous penalty shoot-outs at the Euros, including defeat by Italy in the final three years ago.

But they were perfect from the spot as Saka erased some of the pain from his decisive miss in the Euro 2020 final.