Saint Petersburg, Russia (AFP) – Unai Simon has retaliated.
Four days after scoring a goal for Croatia, the goalkeeper saved two penalties on Monday at the end of 12 moves and paved the way for Spain to advance to the semi-finals of the European Championship at the expense of Switzerland.
“Football was fair and we are the fair winners,” Simon said. “Just as you have to erase mistakes quickly, you have to highlight the successes.”
Mikel Oyarzabal converted the penalty kick that awarded Spain a 3-1 win on penalties, which was two wins away from equalizing the achievement of his golden generation that tied the European titles in 2008 and 2012.
The match and an additional 30 minutes ended with a score of 1-1, after Spain failed to eliminate an opponent who remained with one man less in the 78th minute.
Spain took the lead in the eighth minute when Jordi Alba’s shot hit Dennis Zakaria and sent off goalkeeper Jan Sommer. But Switzerland tied by Xherdan Shaqiri at 68.
Switzerland, who had just eliminated France on penalties after a 3-3 draw after coming back from a two-goal deficit, were left with ten men to send off Remo Froeller in 78, in a decision many deemed too harsh by the English referee. Michael Oliver.
At the time, Sommer’s personality was inflated, drowning out the Spanish goalkeeper’s cry over and over and allowing penalty shootouts to come in.
Spain had an inauspicious penalty shootout record, Sergio Busquets opened the penalty shootout with his shot from the post and Sommer blocked Rodri’s shot. But the Swiss lacked the accuracy they showed against France, when they converted all five of their shots. They only shot one of the four shots they shot.
Simon saved Fabian Shire and Manuel Akanej, while Ruben Vargas smashed through the roof.
“Unai has such big eggs,” said Spanish midfielder Koke, praising his partner.
The Spanish celebration was a mixture of relief and euphoria, as players and coaches embraced Oyarzabal on the lawn in St Petersburg. Several Swiss fell to their knees in the center of the circle.
Spain has missed its last five penalties in regular time, including two at Euro 2020.
And now they are waiting for the winner of the Belgium-Italy match.
“You always have to have the mindset that every game is a new game,” Simpon said. “For the semi-finals, you have to come the same way we did, with just thinking that you have to win … we have the near future, we have to win this European Cup.”