Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Shaqiri says ´nothing more brutal´ than penalty heartache as Switzerland exit Euro 2024

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 6 Jul 2024

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Xherdan Shaqiri said there is “nothing more brutal” than losing on penalties after Switzerland’s dream run at Euro 2024 was ended by England in the last eight.

Having eliminated champions Italy in the last 16, Switzerland were on course for a semi-final berth when Breel Embolo put them ahead with 75 minutes played on Saturday.

However, Bukayo Saka dragged the Three Lions level within five minutes, and after another 40 goalless minutes, Gareth Southgate’s men held their nerve from 12 yards.

Manuel Akanji was denied by Jordan Pickford from Switzerland’s first penalty, with every other kick being converted as England won on spot-kicks for just the fourth time in their history and the second time versus Switzerland (also in the Nations League in 2019).

Speaking after his team’s elimination, former Liverpool and Stoke City winger Shaqiri said: “There is nothing more brutal than to go home after penalties.

“We fought and gave it all we had to try and qualify so the fairytale could continue. You saw the enthusiasm and how big it was, not only in Switzerland but also in Germany.

“I am really proud of the team and for the way they played in these Euros. We made a lot of people in Switzerland proud and gave them joy.”

Shaqiri’s team-mate Dan Ndoye added: “This loss is tough to accept. I think we deserved to be in the semi-finals with this team, which was so united.

“We had the qualities to go further. Of course it hurts to lose on penalties. Football is cruel sometimes, but that’s how it is and you need to accept it.”

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