Akanji feeling profound emptiness after missing penalty leads to Swiss defeat at Euro 2024

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Switzerland players group up at the penalty

The message on Jordan Pickford’s water bottle was clear as he prepared to face Manuel Akanji for Switzerland’s first penalty kick in the European Championship shootout. Pickford dove to his left and saved the penalty.

England celebrated while Akanji endured deep sadness, his miss being the only one in the shootout that ended Switzerland’s hopes of reaching their first major tournament semifinal.

After Switzerland lost 5-3 on penalties, Akanji, comforted by his Manchester City teammates John Stones and Phil Foden, felt a profound sense of emptiness, according to coach Murat Yakin.

Midfielder Remo Freuler and goalkeeper Yann Sommer were in tears, reflecting the disappointment of missing out on making history.

Manuel Akanji misses the goal

The Swiss team, widely regarded as one of their most talented generations, had led 1-0 after Breel Embolo’s goal in the 75th minute, coming close to defeating England and surpassing their previous quarterfinal exits at the World Cup in 1954 and Euro 2021.

However, England equalized with Bukayo Saka’s low, curling shot late in the game, forcing the match into penalties. Despite Switzerland navigating the shootout well, Akanji’s miss proved decisive.

Three years ago at the Euros, Switzerland had been successful in a shootout against France but fell to Spain in the quarterfinals due to misses by Akanji, Fabian Schar, and Ruben Vargas.

This year’s squad, led by experienced players like Akanji and Granit Xhaka, had high expectations. Sommer, now a Serie A champion with Inter Milan, and Schar, a regular at Newcastle, alongside the dangerous Embolo, were seen as key figures in Switzerland’s campaign.


By Brian Anderson

Hi myself Brian, I am a second-year student at Symbiosis Centre of Management Studies, Noida, pursuing a BBA degree. I am a multi-faceted individual with a passion for various hobbies, including cricket, football, music, and sketching. Beyond my hobbies, I possess a keen interest in literature, particularly fictional books, and channels my creativity into content writing. I am constantly exploring the realms of both business administration and the world of imagination through my diverse pursuits.

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