When a team eliminates the world champions from a tournament, the message they send is that they have arrived and, therefore, cannot be underestimated.
However, the Swiss’ campaign came to an end on Friday when they lost to Spain. They say he who kills by the sword dies by the sword, and it was by another penalty shootout that Switzerland suffered elimination.
Vladimir Petkovic’s side once again showed tremendous character and fighting spirit, which has been the story of their campaign so far.
No second epic for Switzerland
The manner in which Switzerland came from behind to beat France was box office material. From 3-1 down, they rallied back before emerging victorious on penalties.
Against Spain, they once again conjured a comeback after falling behind early on. An own goal from Denis Zakaria looked to have set the ball rolling for Spain. However, the Swiss got the equaliser through Xherdan Shaqiri in the second half.
The red card shown to Remo Freuler for a reckless challenge didn’t hurt Switzerland but they were ultimately denied another epic. Yann Sommer was yet again the team's savior during the penalty shootout by saving two kicks. The Swiss, though, could only score once, leading to their unfortunate elimination.
Swiss exit after an impressive campaign
Despite exiting the tournament, Switzerland can be proud of themselves after putting up a brave performance were gallant in defeat. The Red Crosses were not given a chance before the start of Euro 2020 but they rose to the occasion and proved their critics wrong.
"I am a positive person. We have to go home taking the positives,” said Swiss manager Vladamir Petkovic in the aftermath of the game, as quoted by Sky Sports. "I have mixed feelings. I have pride - we can all be so proud. We leave here with our heads held high."
"On the other hand, we were so close to the semi-final, and that doesn't happen often. I have more positive than negative feelings. My players were the heroes of the night. We would have deserved to go to the semi-final," added Petkovic.
Switzerland would have absolutely deserved a place in the semi-final. Even as they exit the tournament, they can hold their heads up high for their gallant effort.