Switzerland hit Euro quarter-final, dump out Italy


Switzerland players celebrate their victory

Switzerland reached Euro 2024 quarter-final on Saturday after dumping out defending champions Italy 2-0 in the ongoing tournament in Germany.

Memories of defeating then-world champions France at this stage three years ago injected a surge of optimism into Switzerland’s early endeavours, and the so-called underdogs looked extremely assured in possession.

That said, they didn’t turn their momentum into meaningful chances, at least until Breel Embolo called Gianluigi Donnarumma into a smart save just before the 25-minute mark, before Federico Chiesa saw his low shot blocked by Manuel Akanji, Flashscore reports.

That effort was just about all Italy had to shout about during a dismal first half display, and the Rossocrociati turned up the heat at an already-sweltering Olympiastadion.

Shots came in from Fabian Schär and Ricardo Rodriguez, setting the scene for them to grab a deserved lead through Remo Freuler.

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Having received it from Ruben Vargas in the area, the Bologna man flicked the ball up and volleyed inside Donnarumma’s near stick, setting his side on course to emulate their 2021 heroics.

Donnarumma did well to push Fabian Rieder’s free-kick onto the post on the stroke of half time but he was powerless to stop Vargas’ stunning curled effort flying into the top corner from the edge of the area just moments after the restart.

Despite being distinctly second-best, Italy at least knew that Switzerland had failed to keep a clean sheet in four previous matches, and Gianluca Scamacca prodded against the post as they looked to forge a way back into the tie.

Despite substitutions threatening to pose further threat to the Swiss back line, imperious displays from the likes of Akanji and Schär ensured the outcome was never in doubt.

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