It stinks if you had to work on Monday and didn’t have a TV or cell phone. That’s how great a day it was at Euro 2021. Here’s why:
No team in Euro history had trailed by multiple goals after 80 minutes and not lost in 90 minutes.
It happened TWICE today.
Croatia and Switzerland gave us a matchday we’ll never forget 👏 👏 pic.twitter.com/GsG4Q1Nk28
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 28, 2021
These reactions sum up what the day felt like for fans:
This might be the best day’s football I’ve ever watched. 2 extraordinary games that are almost the mirror image of each other. Unbelievable scenes.
— Gary Lineker 💙 (@GaryLineker) June 28, 2021
we really just got back-to-back 3-3 games in stoppage time wtf. lol.
— Jimena (@jimemaud) June 28, 2021
FOOTBALL IS THE GREATEST SPORT ON EARTH
— B/R Football (@brfootball) June 28, 2021
There were so many unbelievable moments. If you were a fan glued to your TV or phone, the rollercoaster of emotions, the nerves, the palpitations, the nail biting — it was all just too much. Here’s how the day unfolded and what it was like in real time:
Spain’s own goal: What a whiff!
When it happened: Croatia 0, Spain 0 (20th minute)
What happened: A back pass by a teammate went right over the foot of Spain ‘keeper Unai Simon and Croatia went up 1-0 vs. Spain.
Instant fan reaction: What’s he doing/thinking? Was that a bad hop on the turf? No, he took his eye off it! How does the ‘keeper come back from that? He’s got to be flustered. Spain has some bad juju at these Euros.
Croatia scores late, sends it to extra time
When it happened: Croatia 2, Spain 3 (92nd minute)
What happened: Croatia’s Mario Pasalic made a strong run into the box and headed home a beautiful cross in stride to make it 3-3. The goal sent the match to extra time.
Instant fan reaction: Where did this come from, Croatia? What a collapse by Spain! No way they’re coming back from that. How could Spain not figure out a way to hold a two-goal lead with 14 minutes left against a team with no real scoring threats? Scenes in Croatia were awesome.
Huge save by that Spain ‘keeper
When it happened: Croatia 3, Spain 3 (6th minute of extra time)
What happened: Spain ‘keeper Unai Simon stopped a point-blank bullet from Croatia’s Andrej Kramaric, who had a clear shot on goal.
Instant fan reaction: Redemption! Good for him. If Simon doesn’t make that save, Croatia is definitely beating Spain. That was a harder save than it looked. Kramaric should’ve roofed it! That was Croatia’s big chance. It won’t happen for them now.
After death threats, the game-winner
When it happened: Croatia 3, Spain 3 (10th minute of extra time)
What happened: Alvaro Morata, the Spain forward whose family was subjected to death threats after he missed a few big scoring chances in previous games, stuck it to all the doubters. It was a fantastic finish, one you’d expect only from a pure forward like Morata.
Instant fan reaction: What class by Morata. That must feel good for him after what he’s been through. His family must be loving it. This is what he does. He’ll miss some easier chances, but then he scores goals that have a higher degree of difficulty. That was big.
Switzerland PK is stopped
When it happened: France 0, Switzerland 1 (55th minute)
What happened: French ‘keeper Hugo Lloris stopped a Ricardo Rodriguez penalty kick which could’ve made it 2-0 Switzerland.
Instant fan reaction: That would’ve put the game away! That’s gonna hurt. But great stop by Lloris. More of a great save than a bad PK. Switzerland is going to regret this.
Benzema single-handedly flips score
When it happened: France 0, Switzerland 1 (57th & 59th minutes)
What happened: Karim Benzema was invisible for most of the game. Then all of a sudden he exploded with two goals in three minutes. The first was a classy finish — the second was opportunistic.
Instant fan reaction: What a player. That’s world-class stuff. He does nothing all game and then goes off. France’s coach Didier Deschamps is definitely glad he called him up now. You have to feel for Switzerland. That penalty kick save was a back breaker.
Pogba’s sick goal & celebration(s)
When it happened: France 2, Switzerland 1 (75th minute)
What happened: Paul Pogba picked out the top right corner on a spectacular, long-distance goal to make it 3-1. That was a stunner.
Instant fan reaction: That was unreal! Pogba’s unreal! He made it look so easy. Pogba is the man. This France team is so good. They can turn it on whenever they want to. France is definitely heading to the quarterfinals now. They are too good to be eliminated.
Pogba had four different celebrations for that goal. And that goal deserves four celebrations.
— Zito (@_Zeets) June 28, 2021
Swiss tie it in the 90th minute
When it happened: France 3, Switzerland 2 (90th minute)
What happened: Swiss sub Mario Gavranovic equalizes. He had only one thing in mind when he got the ball, and maneuvered his way for an unstoppable shot from the top of the box.
Instant fan reaction: Are you serious! Another two-goal comeback? Another extra-time game? What a stunner for France. What a punch to the gut. Let’s see if they can come back from this. Switzerland has been good today. That’s actually a well-deserved equalizer. Ricardo Rodriguez is off the hook. Relief for him.
France come this close to a winner
When it happened: France 3, Switzerland 3 (94th minute)
What happened: With seconds to go in regulation, France’s Kingsley Coman collected a cross in the box and nearly found the top right corner, but it went off the woodwork. That would’ve been some winner.
Instant fan reaction: Oooooohhhh. If he keeps that just a hair lower, it’s going in. That would’ve been cruel for Switzerland, but it would’ve been an all-time ending for a knockout match. This game is crazy. Crazier than Spain-Croatia.
Mbappe’s PK stopped, France is out
When it happened: France 3, Switzerland 3 (PK shootout, final kick)
What happened: Kylian Mbappe had to score to keep France alive in the shootout. But Yann Sommer saved his shot and Switzerland puled off the upset. Mbappe looked like he wanted a retake, but the refs don’t give it. That was a really good save. The Swiss are going to the quarterfinals.
Instant fan reaction: Holy cow, Switzerland’s going through. Can’t believe it! Mbappe of all players! You just felt it was going to happen. That was a lot of pressure on him. He probably wanted to be the fifth penalty taker. This game trumped the previous one … we got everything that Croatia-Spain had, plus a PK shootout and an upset on top of that.