Spain overcame a scare from a stubborn Switzerland to seal a Euro 2020 semi-final spot after a dramatic penalty shootout victory in St. Petersburg.
With the scores level at 1-1 and reduced to 10 men after a dubious red card to midfielder Remo Freuler in the 77th minute, the Swiss produced a rearguard action to frustrate a blunt Spain who regressed to the listless football that so characterized their opening two games in this tournament.
Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer, the shootout hero against France, was again inspired as he repelled shot after shot in extra time, at one stage saving at point-blank range from a particularly profligate Gerard Moreno.
But it was Spain who prevailed in the penalty lottery, winning 3-1 in the shootout after Mikel Oyarzabal scored the decisive effort to send his team into a semi-final date with either Italy or Belgium at Wembley.
The three-time European champions will wait for the winner of Friday’s second quarter-finals between Italy and Belgium.