Spain needed penalties to get the better of Switzerland and advance to the semi-finals of Euro 2020 on Friday, setting up a clash against Italy.
European champions in 2008 and 2012, Spain beat Switzerland 3-1 on penalties after their quarter-final tie in Saint Petersburg finished 1-1 at the end of extra time, with Mikel Oyarzabal scoring the winning kick.
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Earlier, Luis Enrique’s side appeared to be coasting as Jordi Alba’s shot deflected in off Denis Zakaria for an own goal to put Spain ahead in the eighth minute.
However, the Swiss had caused a sensation by eliminating world champions France in the last 16 and they battled back to equalise midway through the second half when a disastrous defensive mix-up between Spain centre-backs Aymeric Laporte and Pau Torres allowed Xherdan Shaqiri to score.
Switzerland then held on through extra time after midfielder Remo Freuler was sent off in the 77th minute for a challenge on Gerard Moreno.
They had converted all five of their penalties in the shoot-out against France and this time they were given a head-start when Sergio Busquets hit the post with Spain’s first effort.
Rodri also failed to score for Spain but Unai Simon saved from Fabian Schaer and Manuel Akanji before Ruben Vargas blazed over.
Oyarzabal’s kick allowed Spain to go through and help banish the memory of their defeat on penalties in the last 16 of the 2018 World Cup against the hosts in Russia. (AFP)