UEFA Euro 2024 Quarter-Final Roundup: France and England go through on penalties alongside Spain and Netherlands

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Mikel Merino’s goal took Spain to the semi-final

After setting the tone with group stage fixtures and Round of 16 matches, the quarter-finals of the UEFA Euro 2024 did not disappoint at all as every single match went right down the wire. The match between Portugal and France, and England and Switzerland were decided on penalties, where France and England emerged as winners. 

Germany was knocked out by Spain in another match that went on to extra time. The Netherlands vs Turkey clash was the only game settled in regulation time, but it was a proper thriller as well, with the Oranje scripting a fantastic comeback. Let us have a look at the roundup of the quarter-finals:

Quarter-Final 1: Spain 2-1 Germany

Spain had won all of their three matches in the group stage, and then they defeated Georgia 4-1 in the Round of 16. Hence, they were always likely to be a tough nut to crack, but Luis de la Fuente’s young brigade knocked out the well-oiled German machine of Julian Nagelsmann. This match ended 2-1 in Spain’s favor where Dani Olmo and Mikel Merino scored for La Roja while Florian Wirtz was the lone goal-scorer for Die Mannschaft.

Though the first half did not produce any goals, it was clear from the onset that the game would not be a goalless one as both teams created plenty of chances. The deadlock was broken in the 51st minute when 16-year-old Barcelona talent Lamine Yamal played a pass for Olmo, who slotted his shot past his marker Robert Andrich and German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to give Spain the lead.

When it seemed that Spain would win the game 1-0, Wirtz’s Bayer Leverkusen DNA kicked in as he struck an equaliser in the 88th minute, just like he has done so often for the Xabi Alonso team in the 2023-24 Bundesliga. From a Maximilian Mittelstadt cross, Joshua Kimmich headed down the ball for Wirtz who found the back of the net off the post.

But Spain re-took their lead in the 118th minute of the match, knocking the hosts out of the tournament. Olmo played the role of a creator this time as he floated in a cross which found substitute Merino losing his marker Antonio Rudiger and then heading the ball home.

Quarter-Final 2: Portugal 0(3)-(5)0 France

Cristiano Ronaldo & Portugal’s tournament came to an end

The second quarter-final of Euro 2024 was basically a re-run of the Euro 2016 final but with one major change. In this match, it was France who had the lesser possession but still ended up winning the match. After neither team could score in 120 minutes, Les Bleus defeated the Lusos 5-3 on penalties.

Having not scored a single goal from open play so far in this competition, France seemed to be lacking the cutting edge in attack once again as the major chances fell to Portugal.

Vitinha missed a big chance during the initial exchanges of the second half, while just three minutes into extra time, Cristiano Ronaldo blasted a shot wide from a position he could probably have scored with his eyes closed if it had a few years ago.

The biggest miss probably came right at the end of extra time, when Nuno Mendes was in a good position at the edge of the box but could not generate any power on his right-footed attempt, given that he is a left-footed player.

In the penalties, all of France’s five penalty-takers, Ousmane Dembele, Youssouf Fofana, Jules Kounde, Bradley Barcola, and Theo Hernandez scored. For Portugal, Ronaldo, Bernardo Silva and Mendes found the back of the net, but Joao Felix’s shot struck the woodwork which led to his team’s elimination.

Quarter-Final 3: England 1(5)-(3)1 Switzerland

Some might consider it a mystery that England have someone found their way to the last four despite not looking convincing in a single match they have played so far but after a hard-fought win over Slovakia in the Round of 16, they qualified for the semi-final by beating Switzerland 5-3 on penalties.

As if a carbon copy of the matches Gareth Southgate’s team has played so far, the first half was sedate with very few clear-cut openings. The first major opening came in the 75th minute and Switzerland pounced on it, further enhancing their excellent goal conversion rate in this tournament.

After receiving a pass from Fabian Schar, Dan Ndoye played a pass for Breel Embolo which should have been dealt with by John Stones, but the Manchester City defender failed to do so and the Monaco striker opened the scoring for the Swiss.

But Murat Yakin’s team enjoyed the lead for just five minutes as Bukayo Saka brought England back in the 80th minute, with a thunderous left-footed strike from outside the box which travelled through a sea of players in red and left Yan Sommer rooted to his position.

In the penalties, all five of England’s takers, Cole Palmer, Jude Bellingham, Saka, Ivan Toney, and Trent Alexander-Arnold scored for the Three Lions. For Switzerland, Schar, Xherdan Shaqiri and Zeki Amdouni scored, but Manuel Akanji’s shot was saved by Jordan Pickford.

Quarter-Final 4: Netherlands 2-1 Turkey

Netherlands came from a goal behind to beat Turkey 2-1

Turkey had a dream run into the quarter-finals, which saw them defeat teams like Czechia and Austria, and at one stage it seemed that they would turn the tables and send shockwaves by qualifying for the semi-finals. But it was not meant to be for Vincenzo Montella’s men, as they lost 1-2 to the Netherlands. Samet Akaydin opened the scoring for the Crescent-Stars before a Stefan de Vrij header and a Mert Muldur own goal sent Ronald Koeman’s boys into the last four.

It was Turkey who scored the opener in the 35th minute. Real Madrid youngster Arda Guler, who was among the emerging stars of this tournament, launched a delightful cross which saw Fenerbahce defender Akaydin jumping the highest and slotting his header past a helpless Bart Verbruggen.

Montella’s rigid defense held firm for the majority of the game but finally gave in with just 20 minutes to spare of regulation time, In the 70th minute, Memphis Depay launched a cross and Inter Milan defender de Vrij headed it past Mert Gunok to restore parity in the match.

The killer blow was handed 6 minutes later when right-back Denzel Dumfries pushed a grounder cross and Liverpool attacker Cody Gakpo did really well to get ahead of his marker, Mulder. In a desperate attempt to clear the danger, the Fenerbahce man ended up scoring an own goal.

Turkey did have their chances of scoring a second goal late in the game, but a superb last-ditch clearance from Micky van de Ven and another amazing Verbruggen reflex save set up the Netherlands’ semi-final clash against England.