- Euro 2020 daily round-up.
- Two more Last 16 knockout games take place.
- Double extra time drama makes Monday one of most exciting days in Euros’ history.
Wow! – What a day at this summer’s European Championships Monday has been.
Two exciting round of Last 16 games set the stage for both Spain and tournament favorites France to take to the field.
Luis Enrique’s Espana faced 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia in the early kick-off with Didier Deschamps’ Les Bleus taking on outsiders Switzerland in the later game.
Despite both top-ranked country’s looking like quarter-finalists on paper, Monday’s matches saw two much tighter encounters play out.
Croatia pushed Spain to the brink with the three-time European Championship needing extra time to seal their place in the next round.
Elsewhere, after taking an early lead, Switzerland, who went into their match against France one nill up at half-time, suddenly found themselves 45-minutes away from completing a giant-killing.
However, despite looking to start the second half in a much better fashion, right-back Benjamin Pavard conceded a penalty, giving the Swiss the perfect opportunity to go two ahead.
With David Rodriguez stepping up to undertake spot-kick duties, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris matched the defender’s effort with a stunning diving save.
The next few minutes saw the French national team execute a remarkable quick-fire turnaround.
A two-minute brace from Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema put Les Bleus into a shock lead before midfielder Paul Pogba unleashed a wonder strike just 15-minutes later.
Similar to Croatia earlier in the day though, the Swiss, undeterred by their two-goal deficit came firing back with two late goals of their own.
With the tense tie ending 3-3 after 90-minutes, all attention quickly turned to extra time.
Paul Pogba Stunner Caps Off Dramatic Monday
Following teammate Benzema’s two minute brace, Manchester United star Pogba decided the 75th minute would be the ideal time to steal the sporting headlines himself.
Popping up on the edge of the Swiss’ area, the French Galactico placed a stunning effort right in the top right corner.
Virtually an unstoppable strike – regardless of Monday’s outcome, the talented midfielder’s effort against Switzerland in the delayed 2020 Euros will be played back for many, many years to come.
Swiss Make History as Favorites Fall
This is by far the biggest upset of the tournament, so far.
The French, led by a wealth of talent, have crashed out on penalties at the first knockout stage.
After an extra time stale mate, nerve-wracking penalties awaited.
Five faultless spot-kicks from the Swiss meant France national treasure and PSG wonderboy Kylian Mbappe would step up with the weight of his country on his shoulder to take the kick which would send the shootout to sudden death.
However, it wasn’t to be as goalkeeper Yan Sommer leaped to the rescue and with a big palm kept the attacker’s effort out.
Switzerland will now face Spain in the quarter finals. Au revoir France, who now go home empty handed.
Knockout Last 16: Croatia vs. Spain
Location: Parken, Copenhagen, Denmark
Kick-off: 13:00 ET
Score: 3-3 (3-5 after extra time)
Scorers: Pedri (OG) 20′, Pablo Sarabia 38′, Cesar Azpilicueta 57′, Ferran Torres 76′, Mario Pasalic 90+2′, Alvaro Morata 100′, Mikel Oyarzabal 103′
Knockout Last 16: France vs. Switzerland
Location: National Arena, Bucharest, Romania
Kick-off: 16:00 ET
Score: 3-3 (5-4 on penalties)
Scorers: Haris Seferovic 15′, Karim Benzema 57′, Karim Benzema 59′, Paul Pogba 75′, Haris Seferovic 81′, Mario Gavranovic 90′
Next Set of Fixtures (June 29)
Knockout Last 16: England vs. Germany
Location: Wembley Stadium, London, England
Kick-off: 13:00 ET
Knockout Last 16: Sweden vs. Ukraine
Location: Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland
Kick-off: 16:00 ET