Tuesday, August 3

The wildest day in the history of euros: why soccer fans will never forget France-Switzerland and Croatia-Spain

It sucks if you had to work on Monday and you didn’t have a TV or a cell phone. What a great day it was at Euro 2021. Here’s why:

These reactions summarize how the day felt for fans:

There were so many incredible moments. If you were a fan glued to your TV or phone, the roller coaster of emotions, nerves, palpitations, nail biting, it was all too much. Here’s how the day unfolded and what it was like in real time:

Spain’s own goal: What a breath!

When I pass: Croatia 0, Spain 0 (minute 20)

What happened: A backward pass from a teammate passed over the foot of Spanish goalkeeper Unai Simon and Croatia were 1-0 up against Spain.

Instantaneous fan reaction: What are you doing / thinking? Was it a bad jump on the grass? No, he took his eye off! How does the ‘keeper of it come back? You have to be nervous. Spain has some bad juju in these euros.

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Croatia scores late, sends it to extra time

When I pass: Croatia 2, Spain 3 (minute 92)

What happened: Croatian Mario Pasalic makes a strong run into the box and heads home with a beautiful striding cross to make it 3-3. We are heading for extra time.

Instantaneous fan reaction: Where did this come from, Croatia? What a collapse of Spain! No way will they come back from that. How could Spain not find a way to maintain a two-goal lead with 14 minutes to go against a team with no real threat of goal? The scenes in Croatia were incredible.

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Great save from the same goalkeeper from Spain

When I pass: Croatia 3, Spain 3 (sixth minute of extra time)

What happened: The Spanish goalkeeper Unai Simon stopped a bullet from the Croatian Andrej Kramaric, who had a clear shot on goal.

Instantaneous fan reaction: Redemption! Good for him. If Simon doesn’t make that save, Croatia is definitely beating Spain. It was a more difficult save than it seemed. Kramaric should have roofed it! That was Croatia’s chance. It won’t happen to you now.

After the death threats, the winner of the game

When I pass: Croatia 3, Spain 3 (10th minute of overtime)

What happened: Álvaro Morata, the Spanish striker whose family received death threats after he missed big scoring chances in previous games, tells all the skeptics. It was a fantastic finish, a front end.

Instantaneous fan reaction: What kind of Morata. That must feel good to him after what happened. Your family must be delighted. This is what he does. You will miss out on some easier opportunities, but then score goals that have a higher degree of difficulty. That was great.

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Switzerland PK is in custody

When I pass: France 0, Switzerland 1 (minute 55)

What happened: French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris saved a Ricardo RodrĂ­guez penalty that could have made Switzerland 2-0.

Instantaneous fan reaction: That would have ended the game! That is going to hurt. But great stop in Lloris. More of a great save than a bad PK. Switzerland is going to regret this.

Benzema flips the score with one hand

When I pass: France 0, Switzerland 1 (minutes 57 and 59)

What happened: Karime Benzema was invisible for most of the game. Then all of a sudden he exploded with two goals in three minutes. The first was an elegant ending, the second was opportunistic.

Instantaneous fan reaction: What a player. That is world class material. He does nothing for the entire game and then leaves. France coach Didier Deschamps is definitely glad he called him now. You have to feel for Switzerland. That penalty save was a back breaker.

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Pogba’s sick goal and celebration (s)

When I pass: France 2, Switzerland 1 (minute 75)

What happened: Paul Pogba chose the top right corner on a spectacular long-range goal to make it 3-1. That was amazing.

Instantaneous fan reaction: That was unreal! Pogba is unreal! Made it look so easy. Pogba is the man. This team from France is so good. They can turn it on whenever they want. France is heading to the quarterfinals. They are too good to remove.

The Swiss tied it in the 90th minute

When I pass: France 3, Switzerland 2 (minute 90)

What happened: The Swiss Mario Gavranovic ties. He has only one thing in mind when he receives the ball and maneuvers to launch an unstoppable shot from the top of the area.

Instantaneous fan reaction: Are you serious! Another two-goal comeback? Another overtime game? How wonderful for France. What a punch to the stomach. Let’s see if they can come back from this. Switzerland was good today. That is really well deserved. Ricardo RodrĂ­guez is blameless. Relief for him.

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France gets so close to a winner

When I pass: France 3, Switzerland 3 (minute 94)

What happened: With seconds to go in regulation time, France’s Kingsley Coman picked up a cross and nearly found the top right corner, but he came off the wood. That would have been a winner.

Instantaneous fan reaction: Oooooohhhh. If you keep that just a hair lower, it will go in. That would have been cruel for Switzerland, but it would have been a historic end to a knockout match. This game is crazy. Crazier than Spain-Croatia.

PK of Mbappé stopped, France is out

When I pass: France 3, Switzerland 3 (PK penalties, final kick)

What happened: Kylian Mbappé had to score to keep France alive on penalties. But Yann Sommer saved his shot. Switzerland takes the surprise. It seems that Mbappé wants a repetition, but the referees are not giving it to him. That was a good save. The Swiss go to the quarterfinals.

Instantaneous fan reaction: Holy cow, Switzerland is passing. I can not believe it! MbappĂ© of all the players! You just felt it. That was a lot of pressure for him. He probably wanted to be the fifth receiver. This game surpassed the previous one … we got everything that Croatia-Spain had and a penalty shoot-out and surprise on top.

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