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‘The road to the ball was longer than usual’ – Oyarzabal was Spain’s penalty hero at Euro 2020

Along with goalkeeper Unai Simon, the Real Sociedad man was the star of their St. Petersburg triumph, and he has now revealed everything on his decisive finish

Spanish forward Mikel Oyarzabal started in the Euro 2020 quarter-finals on Friday to be Spain’s penalty kick hero against Switzerland, declaring he is confident of finding his place.

The Real Sociedad star struck the decisive header after extra time was not enough to separate Luis Enrique’s La Roja from ten-man Rossocrociati in a 1-1 draw in St. Petersburg.

Unai Simon saved three Swiss attempts with an excellent performance between the posts to set up the winning finish of his team-mate, and now Oyarzabal has spoken to him about what went on in his mind before hitting the shot for a semi-final at Wembley against Italy. .

What was said?

“The road to the ball was a little longer than normal because the ball was a little further away,” Oyarzabal told a pre-match press conference before Tuesday’s game when asked about his winning header.

“There you think about what you’re going to do. I was confident it would go well – when the coach asked who wanted to shoot, I was willing to do it.”

On Simon’s heroic deeds, he adds: “I have known him for a long time, I have a good relationship with him. I consider myself a friend; he has worked hard to be here and it is a pleasure to have an experience. like this to share with him. ‘

Wing beware of Azzurri threat

In a rare case for Spain during international tournaments, they enter their semi-final in North London as an underdog, after Italy turned their dark horse outsider labels to appear as true Euro 2020 favorites.

But while Roberto Mancini’s team may want to be on top, Oyarzabal feels La Roja will be able to take on the challenge, adding: ‘It’s going to be a very difficult match.

“They’ve shown their level, they’re coming at a great moment, but we’re doing it too, and we need to focus on that. If we play right, we will have a better chance of winning.

“The most important thing is to be ourselves, so far, in all the games, we have given a good report of our skills. We have to keep trusting ourselves and I am sure it will go well.”

The bigger picture

After surviving two knockout matches through extra time to reach the final four, Spain will have to rediscover their best form if they hope to beat the Azzurri, whose now 16 victory over Austria is the only blip on their record remains, especially after a victory over the world number one Belgium.

However, Luis Enrique’s men will speak up in the match, knowing that they will only be 90 minutes away from a first major tournament final, as they beat Italy in the Euro 2012 spectacle match for their third consecutive major tournament. to achieve crown.

Victory will bring in one last clash against Denmark – with a fairytale after the trauma of Christian Eriksen’s collapse in their opening match – or offer England a chance to book a place in a first final since winning the 1966 World Cup on their won own job. more than half a century ago.

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