England 1-1 Switzerland (aet, 5-3 pens): EURO 2024 Quarter-Final Victory

England football team celebrating their EURO 2024 quarter-final victory over Switzerland.

Düsseldorf, Germany – England edged out a resilient Switzerland side to reach the UEFA EURO 2024 semi-finals after a tense 1-1 draw was decided by a 5-3 penalty shoot-out victory. Jordan Pickford emerged as the shoot-out hero, saving Manuel Akanji’s penalty, while Bukayo Saka’s brilliance was instrumental in England’s comeback.

First Half

The match commenced with both sides cautiously maintaining their defensive shapes and probing for opportunities. England, playing with a back three for the first time since the EURO 2020 final, looked to leverage their impressive attacking arsenal. However, Switzerland’s disciplined defense stood firm, thwarting England’s initial advances.

Despite royalty in the crowd, the first half offered few clear-cut chances, with both teams focused on minimizing errors. England’s switch to a three-person defense indicated a strategic shift, but Switzerland nearly capitalized on a rare opportunity, with Breel Embolo’s strike easily gathered by Pickford.

Second Half: Drama Unfolds

The match’s dynamics shifted dramatically in the second half. Switzerland broke the deadlock in the 75th minute when Embolo poked in Dan Ndoye’s deflected cross, sending the Swiss supporters into a frenzy. The noise of cowbells filled the stadium, signaling Switzerland’s renewed energy and determination.

Facing a 1-0 deficit, Gareth Southgate responded with a triple substitution, bringing on Eberechi Eze, Luke Shaw, and Palmer. The changes paid immediate dividends as Bukayo Saka curled in a stunning equalizer five minutes later. Saka’s goal, a beautifully placed shot into the top corner, reignited England’s hopes and set the stage for a thrilling finale.

Extra Time: End-to-End Action

As the match progressed into extra time, both teams abandoned their cautious approaches, resulting in an end-to-end contest. England’s Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham forced saves from Yann Sommer, while Switzerland’s Xherdan Shaqiri nearly secured a winner, hitting the post directly from a corner.

With neither side able to find a decisive goal, the match proceeded to a penalty shoot-out. England’s impeccable record from the spot and Pickford’s crucial save proved decisive. Saka confidently converted his penalty before Trent Alexander-Arnold, a late substitute, sealed England’s place in the semi-finals with a composed finish.

Post-Match Reactions

Gareth Southgate, England Manager: “The players were brilliant tonight. It is the best we have played. We caused them many problems with the ball. To come from behind again and show the character and resilience we did is incredible. Winning tournaments is not just about playing well; you must show all those other attributes.”

Murat Yakin, Switzerland Coach: “It hurts. We put so much effort in and created so many chances. I am sad for the lads and the nation. England did not have many chances, and we created quite a few. We do not deserve to be going home, but we can be proud.”

Bukayo Saka, England Forward: “The pressure of taking penalties is something I embrace. You fail once, but I am the sort of guy who wants to put myself in the position again. I know many nervous people are watching, like my family, but I kept my cool and scored my penalty.”

Harry Kane, England Captain: “Another tough game, and first of all, great resilience from the lads to turn it up again. To get the goal, a fantastic finish from Bukayo Saka. Penalties are penalties, but I felt prepared – I was on the side but comfortable with the lads. We trust whoever is on the pitch, and the difference compared to past years is we have proven penalty takers.”

Granit Xhaka, Switzerland Captain: “The initial feeling is sadness and disappointment because we did not deserve to lose like this. On the other hand, we can be proud of ourselves. We kept improving from the first game until today and showed great character and team spirit.”

Key Stats and Highlights

England’s EURO Semi-Finals: This marks England’s fourth appearance in an EURO semi-final, with previous appearances in 1968, 1996, and 2020.
Bukayo Saka’s Milestone: Saka (22 years, 305 days) is the youngest player to score for England in an EURO quarter-final.
Unbeaten Streak: England are unbeaten in their last 14 matches against Switzerland, dating back to May 1981.
Penalty Shoot-Outs: Four of England’s five EURO tournament quarter-finals have been decided by a penalty shoot-out.
Extra Time: Eight of England’s last 11 EURO knockout matches have required extra time.
Jude Bellingham’s Record: Bellingham (21 years, 7 days) is the youngest player to have played in two EURO quarter-finals.
Southgate’s Record: Excluding shoot-outs, Southgate has always won an EURO match as coach.


England: Pickford; Walker, Konsa (Palmer 78), Stones, Konsa; Trippier (Eze 78), Mainoo (Shaw 78), Rice, Saka; Bellingham, Foden (Alexander-Arnold 115); Kane (Toney 110)

Switzerland: Sommer; Schär, Akanji, Rodríguez; Rieder (Zuber 63), Freuler (Sierro 118), Xhaka, Aebischer (Amdouni 118); Ndoye (Zakaria 98), Embolo (Shaqiri 109), Vargas (Widmer 63)