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Monday, August 02, 2021

‘Finding sleep would be difficult’: Kylian Mbappe after penalty nightmare

Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer saved a penalty kick from Kylian Mbappe in a penalty shootout to knock France out of the European Championship

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: June 29, 2021 2:11:22 pm
Kylian MbappeFrance's Kylian Mbappe reacts after his shot is saved by Switzerland's Yann Sommer during the penalty shoot-out. (REUTERS/Justin Setterfield)

Switzerland’s Yann Sommer saved France striker Kylian Mbappe’s penalty to secure a 5-4 shootout win over the world champions following a thrilling 3-3 draw after extra time on Monday to reach the Euro 2020 quarter-finals where they will meet Spain.

On a memorable evening for Swiss football, the so-called Nati repeatedly beat the odds, coming from 3-1 down with two goals in the final five minutes to force extra time and eventually penalties.

After the nightmarish game for France, Kylian Mbappe issued an apology on his social media accounts after his penalty miss ended France’s hopes of adding Euro 2020 glory to the World Cup crown they won in Russia three years ago.

“The sadness is immense after this elimination, we could not reach our goal,” he wrote.

 

It was Switzerland’s first knockout stage victory at a tournament since 1938 and the first time they have made the last eight since the 1954 World Cup which they hosted. They will next face Spain on Friday in St Petersburg.

“Honestly I am still in shock,” said Sommer, who became the most capped Swiss keeper with 65 international appearances.

“We showed courage, heart, we left everything out there. When you come back from two goals down against the world champions it is just unbelievable, and then to win on penalties, I could not be prouder of the way we did it.”

France, who had started with an unusual three-man defence and lacked any real bite up front in the first half, looked to be heading for victory when Karim Benzema struck twice in two minutes early in the second half.

Highlights:

He latched on to Mbappe’s through ball in the 57th minute to cancel out Switzerland’s first-half lead from Haris Seferovic’s header.

Benzema then headed home from near the goal-line two minutes later to take his tournament tally to four as France grabbed control of the game only minutes after the Swiss missed a 55th minute penalty and the chance to go 2-0 up when Hugo Lloris saved Ricardo Rodriguez’s spot kick.

Fans react angrily to Mbappe’s miss:

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