A cannon shot from Miranda in extra time gave Spain a painful victory against Switzerland, a pass to the semifinals and many chances to be at the Paris Games, for which there are three places in contention. If France, which will host the Olympics, or England, which will supplement the United Kingdom team, win the quarter-finals this Sunday, Spain will have already secured their ticket. His rival on Wednesday in the semifinals will come out of the duel between the French and the Ukrainians.
Arnau Tenas, Aitor Paredes, Jon Pacheco, Víctor Gómez (Gabriel Veiga, 99 mins), Juan Miranda, Álex Baena (Adrian Bernabe, 77 mins), Sergio Gómez (Gila Fuentes, 119 mins), O. Sancet (Aimar Oroz, min.77), Antonio Blanco (Arnau Martinez, min.99), Rodri (Barrenetxea, min.87) and Abel Ruiz
Amir Saipi, Leonidas Stergiou, Nicolas Vouilloz, Lewin Blum, Aurèle Amenda, Ardon Jasari, Darian Males (Filip Stojilkovic, 73 mins), Fabian Rieder, Dan Ndoye (Julian von Moos, 85 mins), Kastriot Imeri and Zeki Amdouni
goals 1-0 min. 67: Sergio Gomez. 1-1 min. 91: Zeki Andouni. 2-1 min. 103: John Miranda.
Referee Erik Lambrechts
Yellow cards Kastriot Imeri (min.27), Víctor Gómez (min.34), Gabriel Bares (min.81), Arnau Martinez (min.114) and Zeki Amdouni (min.118)
The return to the more common eleven after the rotations against Ukraine did not set the tone for Spain from the start. Especially with the ball. The circulations were not alive, but a jumble of safety passages before which the vigorous Switzerland did not bat an eye. The Swiss have spent years working on an awkward playing model and their U21 team have been loyal players. They risk letting the ball out with the goalkeeper, they don’t bother slowing down the game until they find the free man, they press high and when they bet on an intense withdrawal because the opponent submits to them they are rocky. And under those parameters they made La Rojita very uncomfortable. There was little of Rodri, Miranda and Sergio Gómez, the usual shakers of this selection. It took a long half hour for the footballers of Santi Denia to start showing their superiority. The duel line was very demanding tactically and physically. This group of players has an appreciable trait. Beyond the game, he has played well in close matches. The central couple Paredes and Pacheco and the pivot Antonio Blanco prevail defensively in the central areas. The matches against Croatia (1-0), Ukraine (1-0) and last night were already tight and industrial in broad terms. The three won by the minimum as proof of that ability to manage the duels of that project in a draw.
With very little space to exploit, it was Alex Baena who finally spotted a crack. The Villarreal infielder broke two lines with a pass that put Sergio Gómez one-on-one with the Swiss goalkeeper. The City player needed to give more power to the minced he tried.
More convinced by the conclusion of the first act, a more aggressive and domineering Spain emerged. In a good maneuver started by Alex Baena he took the lead. Abel Ruiz fired one of his damaging moves behind the centre-backs and planted himself in the box with the ability to cut and shoot. He chose the break to turn around and see Sergio Gómez come from the second row, who avenged himself for the missed opportunity in the first half with a well adjusted left foot.
With just twenty minutes to go, the goal seemed definitive. Especially as Switzerland didn’t let themselves be intimidated, but found in Vonmoos the architect of a lob from behind and an assist that Amdouni didn’t waste. A minute passes from injury time and the goal forces extra time. Spain played better. Víctor Gómez sent the Swiss goalkeeper flying to his right. Shortly thereafter, the cannon Miranda has in his left leg gave him a pass to the semis after he hit his shot on the back of a Swiss.