Sports Desk, Jul 2 (EFE).- Mikel Oyarzabal led Spain to the Euro 2020 semifinals Friday, converting from the spot to give La Roja an insurmountable 3-1 edge in the shootout against a valiant Switzerland after the teams ended 120-plus minutes deadlocked 1-1.
Going behind in the 8th minute on an own goal charged to Denis Zakaria, the Swiss drew level in the 68th thanks to Xherdan Shaqiri, who exploited a mix-up in the Spanish defense.
Switzerland were reduced to 10 men in the 77th minute when the referee showed Remo Freuler a red card for a studs-out challenge on Gerard Moreno. Yet the Alpine side held on to force extra-time and goalkeeper Yann Sommer made several clutch saves to send the contest to a shootout.
Veteran Sergio Busquets hit the post on Spain’s first shot and Sommer went on to deny Rodri. But only Mario Gavranovic scored for Switzerland, as Unai Simon saved two efforts and a third Swiss shooter fired over the cross-bar.
Spain are headed to the final four of a big tournament for the first time since 2012, when they won their second European championship in four years. EFE io/dr