Switzerland 0, England 0 (AET, England win 6-5 on penalties)
Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was England’s hero as they beat Switzerland in a penalty shootout to clinch 3rd place in the Nations League finals in Guimaraes.Embed from Getty Images
Pickford actually scored England’s fifth penalty with a powerful strike before saving Josip Drmic’s sudden death penalty to claim victory for England.
But, as with last Thursday, it might not have come down to Extra Time if it wasn’t for VAR as England sealed their first third place finish in a major international tournament since Euro 1968.
Gareth Southgate made six changes from the side that lost in Extra Time to the Netherlands on Thursday.
John Stones, Ben Chilwell, Declan Rice, Ross Barkley, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford stepped down.
In came Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Eric Dier, Jesse Lingard, Dele Alli, and Harry Kane who took up the captain’s armband.
Raheem Sterling and Kane hit the woodwork while Alli was denied by Swiss ‘keeper Yann Sommer in a generally poor quality game which England had the upper hand in.
Callum Wilson thought he had scored with 5 minutes to go in normal time but VAR ruled out his goal for an earlier foul on Manuel Akanji.
At this point, England fans were less than happy with VAR having twice denied them potential normal time winners, and some of them chose to leave before the shootout after the game remained goalless.
Harry Maguire, Barkley, Sancho, Sterling, Pickford, and Dier were on target for England while Steven Zuber, Granit Xhaka, Akanji, Kevin Mbabu, and Fabian Schar scored for Switzerland before Drmic’s miss.
It was the first time England had scored six penalties in a competitive international tournament in their history and, after the Columbia shootout success from last summer’s World Cup in Russia England seem to be well on their way to putting their shootout woes behind them.
MATCH STATS – Switzerland 0, England 0 (AET, England win 6-5 on penalties)
England: Pickford, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Maguire, Rose (Walker 70), Lingard (Sancho 105), Dier, Delph (Barkley 105), Alli, Kane (Wilson 75), Sterling
England Subs not used: Butland, Heaton, Stones, Henderson, Chilwell, Keane, Rice
Booked: Rose, Lingard
Switzerland: Sommer, Elvedi, Schar, Akanji, Mbabu, Fernandes (Zakaria 61), Xhaka, Freuler, Rodriguez (Drmic 87), Shaqiri (Zuber 65), Seferovic (Okafor 113)
Switzerland Subs not used: Mvogo, Omlin, Moubandje, Lang, Benito, Ajeti, Sow