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Monday, August 2, 2021
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Night of the tragic hero: Yann Sommer, Jeremy Doku win hearts on way out

When Spain’s goalkeeper Unai Simon was given the Man of the Match award at the finish of the penalty shootout in the Euro 2020 quarterfinal in opposition to Switzerland on Friday, he had a one-line response: “Honestly, I’d have given it to Yann Sommer.”

Sommer, higher often known as a meals blogger in his personal nation, a non-celebrity footballer who had foiled French wunderkind Kylian Mbappe a pair of days in the past, had simply pulled off the most heroic efficiency of this yr’s European Championships but.

Over the 120 minutes of the examination Spain put Switzerland via, Sommer made 10 saves — the file for the most saves by a goalkeeper in Euro 2020. He then blocked a penalty in the shootout, whilst Spain nicked it to ebook a spot in subsequent week’s semifinal in opposition to Italy.

Switzerland, taking part in with out captain Granit Xhaka, might need folded after they had been diminished to 10 males after a questionable pink card determination. In not doing so and taking Spain to the restrict, they provided this yr’s European Championship’s finest underdog story but.

Roger Federer tweeted, “Danke Switzerland, it’s been an amazing Sommer, thank you, great effort,” whilst Rafael Nadal would have been celebrating the Spanish win.

Doku’s dribbles

Later in the night time, as Belgium took on Italy in the second quarterfinal, one factor that stood out was how Roberto Mancini’s ‘Neo-Rennaisance’ venture dominated the World Number 1 group. The different factor that was hanging was that the main supply of assaults for the Belgians appeared to be from the left flank, being manned by the least illustrious identify on their group sheet –19-year-old Jeremy Doku.

Doku accomplished eight dribbles in opposition to Italy, the highest quantity for a participant in Euro 2020 up to now. No different participant has managed to finish greater than 6 dribbles in a single match. Doku’s file of 8 dribbles in the match can also be the highest for a teen since there’s full knowledge for World Cups (since 1966) and Euros (since 1980).

In truth, as Belgium made their last makes an attempt to equalize in the dying minutes of the match, it appeared like their assault had divided into two — Doku driving ahead from the left, and the celebrity ensemble on the proper comprising the likes of Kevin de Bruyne and Dries Mertens making an attempt to attract the Italian defence in the direction of them to create space for him.

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