Swiss roll world champs France at Euros

·2-min read

Au revoir France, this northern summer belongs to Yann Sommer.

The Switzerland goalkeeper, who left in the middle of the European Championship's group stage to be with his wife for the birth of their second daughter, made the biggest save of his life against one of the best players in the world.

That gave the Swiss a 5-4 penalty shootout victory over World Cup champions France on Monday and a spot in the quarter-finals of a major soccer tournament for the first time in 67 years.

The match had finished 3-3 after a pulsating 90 minutes, and 30 minutes of extra time.

Sommer dived to his right to save the final penalty by Kylian Mbappe, the young France forward who became a superstar at the 2018 World Cup by scoring in the final.

Les Bleus coach Didier Deschamps admitted the penalty shootout elimination "hurts" but stood by Mbappe.

"Of course Kylian, even if he didn't score a goal (in Euro 2020), he was decisive in many actions that we had, then he took the responsibility to take this penalty and no one is really angry with him," Deschamps said.

Sommer, who flew back to Germany after the team's 3-0 loss to Italy to be home when his daughter was born on June 16, made the decisive save on the 10th penalty after the previous nine had all been successful.

"We played with heart and with character. It's amazing," Sommer said.

The Swiss hadn't reached the last eight at a major tournament since they hosted the World Cup in 1954.

"We made history tonight," Switzerland captain Granit Xhaka said. "We are all very proud."

They will next face Spain - who overcame Croatia 5-3 in their round of 16 epic - on Friday in St Petersburg.

Haris Seferovic put Switzerland in the lead with a header in the 15th minute before the Swiss were awarded a penalty early in the second half.

France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, the team's captain, saved Ricardo Rodriguez's spot kick in the 55th.

Two minutes later Karim Benzema scored and then struck again in the 59th to give France the quick-turnaround lead.

"We went through every emotion possible and honestly that was football the way we like it," Lloris said.

"The two goals we conceded in the last quarter of an hour really hurt us."

Paul Pogba made it 3-1 in the 75th with a right-foot shot from 20 metres but just as quickly as France had taken over the match, they let it go again.

Seferovic scored another header in the 81st minute and substitute Mario Gavranovic drew the scores level with only seconds remaining.

France had been trying to win back-to-back major titles for the second time.

The French won the World Cup in 1998 and followed that up with the title at Euro 2000.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting