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England through to Euro semi-finals after penalty shootout drama – Boring football keeps winning – Sport –

England through to Euro semi-finals after penalty shootout drama – Boring football keeps winning – Sport –

England qualified for the semi-finals of the European Football Championship after another lacklustre performance. They beat Switzerland 2-1 on penalties.

If yesterday's EC match between Portugal and France was criticised for how quiet the game was, the lead-up to the match between England and Switzerland did not give hope for anything better.

The first half was nothing short of a sleepless night. Neither team had any real chances to score and neither team had a single shot on target.

The second half did not start much better and both teams' desire to reduce the risks was clear.

When Breel Embolo came out of nowhere, in the 75th minute of the match, and headed home 1-0 after some clumsy English defensive play, the game came back to life.

Breel Embolo put Switzerland ahead.

Photo: Stella Images/Work Press

England, who have not performed well at the European Championship so far, had to resort to cuts, replacing the trio of Kobbie Mainoo, Kieran Trippier and Ezri Konsa with the more attack-minded Cole Palmer, Eberechi Eze and Luke Shaw.

The impact of the substitute trio was immediate and two minutes later Bukayo Saka levelled the game at 1-1, after a pass from Arsenal team-mate Declan Rice.

Five minutes after Switzerland's lead, the situation was back to normal.

Neither team showed any greater interest in attacking or scoring, but they seemed to wait for extra time.

England won on penalties.

The previous two quarter-finals, played on Saturday, went to extra time after the match ended in a draw after regular time.

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The match between Switzerland and England did not break this streak, but since that match was also drawn at full-time, all three quarter-finals now went to extra time,

Extra time continued as regular match time ended.

If possible, the defensive character would have been more pronounced.

England cheers.
England can continue their quest for their first ever European Championship title.

Photo: Letikova/AFP

In the second half of extra time, Switzerland eased off the handbrake a bit and directly created some good goal-scoring opportunities.

The Swiss still failed to manage their chances, and after a goalless extra time, the match went to penalties.

In the penalty shootout, England proved to be stronger.

Manuel Akanji missed Switzerland's first penalty and when goalkeeper Yann Sommer failed to save a single spot kick, the tournament was over for Switzerland.

England will face the winner of the Netherlands-Turkey match.