England beat Switzerland in a penalty shootout to reach Euro semis

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DUESSELDORF, Germany (AP) — Three years on from losing the European Championship final on penalties, England beat Switzerland in a shootout to reach the semifinals of Euro 2024.

Trent Alexander-Arnold scored the winner as England swept all of their penalties to win the shootout 5-3 after a 1-1 draw in extra time on Saturday.

“The team showed a lot of character, belief, heart and spirit out there,” Alexander-Arnold told the BBC.

England converted their first four penalties and Alexander-Arnold won the game with the fifth, blasting his shot into the top corner. Another who scored was Bukayo Saka, who missed the last penalty kick of the final shootout in 2021 and was racially abused on social media.

Saka also equalized earlier to ensure the game went to extra time after the Swiss took the lead.

The other shootout scorers were Cole Palmer, Jude Bellingham and Ivan Toney, who returned in January from an eight-month ban for breaching betting rules.

England were in the lead in the shootout after goalkeeper Jordan Pickford saved from Manuel Akanji, who took Switzerland’s first penalty kick.

England will play Turkey or the Netherlands in Dortmund on Wednesday for a spot in the final.

Switzerland, which have never reached the semifinals of a major tournament, exit the European Championship on penalties in the quarterfinals for the second time running after defeat to Spain three years ago.

It was the second game in a row that England left it late to win, after beating Slovakia 2-1 in extra time in the last 16.

The quarterfinal went to extra time after England forward Saka scored with a shot off the post in the 80th minute to cancel out Breel Embolo’s goal five minutes earlier for Switzerland. It was the first shot on target for England in what was otherwise a cagey and cautious performance from the 2021 runner-up.

The Swiss had the better chances to win in extra time, including substitute Xherdan Shaqiri hitting the frame of the goal direct from a corner. Pickford saved from substitute Zeki Amdouni in the 119th to keep England in the game.

England were without captain and striker Harry Kane for the shootout after he collided with manager Gareth Southgate on the touchline while challenging for a ball and appeared to be hurt. He was replaced by Toney.

Taking charge of his 100th game on Saturday, Southgate has now taken England to at least the semifinals in three of the four major tournaments in his eight-year tenure.