The Swiss-Nigerian defender scored his penalty kick as Kyllian Mbappe missed from the spot to send the world champions packing.
Manuel Akanji starred in Switzerland’s elimination of France at Euro 2020 on Monday night in Bucharest, Romania. The Borussia Dortmund defender of Nigerian descent scored in the penalty shoot-out that left the world champions sore faced.
The game ended 3-3 after extra time with Karim Benzema and Haris Seferovic both grabbing braces while Paul Pogba scored a goal of the tournament contender from outside the box.
The French thought they had won it after going 3-1 up at the 75th minute, but Seferovic grabbed his second of the game six minutes later to tilt the encounter towards a frantic finish.
Substitute Mario Gavranovic got the Swiss level on 90 minutes as they held on against the odds against their more fancied opponents.
The two sides were inseparable through extra time, with Olivier Giroud denied a late header by Yann Sommer.
How good was Manuel Akanji tonight! 💪#EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/3ivLzziNC2
— BVB Buzz (@BVBBuzz) June 28, 2021
The Swiss held their nerves throughout the penalty kicks and converted their five shots.
Akanji, the third kicker, sent his shot low to the corner, as Hugo Lloris guessed wrongly.
With the Swiss having scored their five spot-kicks, superstar Kyllian Mbappe attempted to keep the French in it. But Sommer stretched and got a firm hand to deny the PSG man and send Switzerland into the quarter-finals to face Spain.
The 5-4 penalty shoot-out win makes it the first time Switzerland have qualified to the quarter-final of a major tournament in 67 years.
Akanji is one of five players at the Euros who were eligible to play for Nigeria through their parents.
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