England beat Switzerland on penalties to reach Euro semis

England advanced to the semi-finals of Euro 2024 with a penalty shootout win over Switzerland as Jordan Pickford’s save from Manuel Akanji’s spot-kick proved decisive following a 1-1 draw.

Trent Alexander-Arnold slammed home the winning penalty after Cole Palmer, Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka and Ivan Toney had also held their nerve, with Pickford thwarting Akanji, Switzerland’s first taker, to clinch a nail-biting 5-3 shootout win.

England, who will now face Netherlands or Turkey in the semi-finals, had looked at risk of limping out of the tournament in normal time when Switzerland’s Breel Embolo stole ahead of Kyle Walker to poke in Dan Ndoye’s deflected cross from close range in the 75th minute.

But Saka, England’s most dangerous player in an unfamiliar right wing-back role, found a leveller shortly afterwards when he cut inside and curled a brilliant finish in off the post from outside the box.

Saka’s goal came from England’s first shot on target and Gareth Southgate’s side continued to labour in extra-time, surviving heart-in-mouth moments when Xherdan Shaqiri struck the woodwork directly from a corner and Zeki Amdouni had a shot parried.

None of that mattered in the end, though, as England kept their cool in the shootout to exorcise the demons of their Euro 2020 final defeat on penalties to Italy and go through to the semis, with their tie taking place on Wednesday night in Dortmund, kick-off 8pm.

England’s penalty joy in pictures

Jordan Pickford saves Manuel Akanji's penalty
Jordan Pickford saved Manuel Akanji’s penalty

Trent Alexander-Arnold scores the decisive penalty to send England into the Euro 2024 semi-finals
Trent Alexander-Arnold converted the winning spot kick

England player start the celebrations after Trent Alexander-Arnold's winning penalty
England’s players start the celebrations after the winning penalty

Jordan Pickford and Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrate after England defeat Switzerland on penalties
Pickford celebrates with Alexander-Arnold afterwards

Gareth Southgate congratulates Jude Bellingham after England defeat Switzerland on penalties
Gareth Southgate congratulates Jude Bellingham

Analysis: Saka shows his mettle and quality

England would not be celebrating a place in the last four without Bukayo Saka. The Arsenal forward, England’s most dangerous player throughout the contest, scored a stunning equaliser during a player-of-the-match performance in Dusseldorf.

Bukayo Saka celebrates after equalising for England against Switzerland
Bukayo Saka celebrates after equalising for England against Switzerland

Even more impressive, though, was his willingness to then step up and take one of England’s penalties in the shootout, only three years after the miss that proved so costly in the final of Euro 2020. Not only that, he converted it too, demonstrating his mettle.

Stats: Story of the match

Who plays who in the semi-finals?

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