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Euro 2024: Switzerland knocks out defending champions Italy; Germany advances past Denmark

Euro 2024: Switzerland knocks out defending champions Italy; Germany advances past Denmark

BERLIN, GERMANY – JUNE 29: Remo Freuler of Switzerland celebrates his goal teammates during the UEFA EURO 2024 round of 16 match between Switzerland and Italy at Olympiastadion on June 29, 2024 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Daniela Porcelli/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

Switzerland has started the knockout round of the Euro 2024 with a bang, eliminating the defending champions Italy with a dominant 2-0 win on Saturday in Berlin.

After more than 30 minutes of a stalemate, Switzerland midfielder Remo Freuler broke through the Italian back line to score in the 37th minute. The goal was followed up by a banger from midfielder Ruben Vargas, who had an assist on the first goal, to open the second half and give Switzerland the dominant 2-0 lead.

The win also marks an upset from a rankings perspective: In the current FIFA rankings, Italy is ranked No. 10, while Switzerland is No. 19.

Switzerland and Italy both finished second in their respective groups, earning five and four points, respectively, in the group stage. Italy's final two results — a loss to Spain off an own goal and a 1-1 tie with Croatia — were particularly frustrating for the defending champs.

Italy won the 2020 Euros — which were delayed by a year due to Covid-19 and played in the summer of 2021 — after defeats of high-level opponents like Belgium, Spain and England. The Italians survived penalty rounds against Spain in the semifinals and England in the finals to take the cup. Despite the victory, Italy has failed to qualify for the past two World Cups.

With the win, Switzerland has matched its previous best Euro result, a quarterfinals appearance at Euro 2020. Switzerland will now face the winner of Sunday's game between England and Slovakia.

Germany advanced to the Euro 2024 quarterfinals with a 2-0 win over Denmark. Goals from Kai Havertz and Jamal Musiala helped put the hosts through, setting up a match against the winner of Spain/Georgia in the next round.

A thunderstorm in Dortmund, Germany caused a 22-minute delay in the first half, which eventually ended goalless.

Denmark looked to have gotten on the board first in the 48th minute by Joachim Andersen, but the goal was called off following a review for offside. The semi-automated offside system being used in the tournament declared it was no goal — and it was very, very tight.

The Danes would be hard done by again minutes later after a review confirmed a handball by Andersen, setting up a penalty kick for Germany.

Havertz would slot his penalty kick past goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel to put Germany up 1-0.

Fourteen minutes later Musiala doubled the lead put the game out of reach for Denmark.

Germany will now have plenty of rest ahead of their quarterfinal matchup on July 5 in Stuttgart.

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