England beat Switzerland in penalty shootout to claim Nations League third place

Tom HomewoodAssistant Producer
GUIMARAES, PORTUGAL - JUNE 09: Jordan Pickford of England celebrates after saving the decisive penalty from Josip Drmic of Switzerland during the UEFA Nations League Third Place Playoff match between Switzerland and England at Estadio D. Afonso Henriques on June 09, 2019 in Guimaraes, Portugal. (Photo by Octavio Passos - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)
GUIMARAES, PORTUGAL - JUNE 09: Jordan Pickford of England celebrates after saving the decisive penalty from Josip Drmic of Switzerland during the UEFA Nations League Third Place Playoff match between Switzerland and England at Estadio D. Afonso Henriques on June 09, 2019 in Guimaraes, Portugal. (Photo by Octavio Passos - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

England wasted several opportunities and had a late strike from Callum Wilson ruled out by VAR, but won back-to-back penalty shootouts for the first time in their history to beat Switzerland to third place in the UEFA Nations League.

Harry Kane hit the bar for England with only two minutes on the clock, before Raheem Sterling missed out after being one-on-one with Yann Sommer.

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Both Sterling and Dele Alli should have scored from crosses from Trent Alexander-Arnold, but both wasted great opportunities before the break.

In the second half Danny Rose’s cross was almost turned in by Fabian Schar for an own goal but it came back off the post. At the other end Jordan Pickford kept out Granit Xhaka’s strike from 22-yards out.

READ MORE: Pickford 'nervous' before scoring decisive penalty

AS IT HAPPENED: England beat Switzerland to claim Nations League third place

Wilson thought he’d opened the scoring for England finding the back of the net after Alli’s header hit the crossbar, but it was ruled out by VAR.

Sommer made a fantastic double save in extra time to deny Alli from yet another Alexander-Arnold cross before making himself big to block Sterling’s follow up.

The Manchester City forward rattled the bar with a sweetly struck free-kick from the edge of the area but England couldn’t find a way through before time ran out.

Jordan Pickford was the hero as he scored England’s fifth penalty before he saved the 14th spot kick in the shootout which mean England beat Switzerland to third place in the UEFA Nations League.

Southgate celebrates following victory in the UEFA Nations League Third Place Playoff against Switzerland (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Southgate celebrates following victory in the UEFA Nations League Third Place Playoff against Switzerland (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Gareth Southgate made several changes to his England side for the Nations League third-place play-off against Switzerland, with John Stones one of seven players to drop to the bench.

The Manchester City player made a costly error in England's 3-1 semi-final defeat to Holland on Thursday night and was replaced in defence by Joe Gomez.

Captain Kane also returned to the starting XI, as did Alli, Eric Dier, Danny Rose, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jesse Lingard.

Kane, making just his second start for club or country since April, hit the crossbar inside the opening two minutes.

After exchanging passes with Lingard he lifted an effort onto the frame of the goal with a delightful dink.

Harry Kane has failed to score in nine of his last 12 England appearances. (Photo by Octavio Passos - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)
Harry Kane has failed to score in nine of his last 12 England appearances. (Photo by Octavio Passos - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

It was Sterling, one of only four players to retain their place in Southgate's line-up, who should have opened the scoring.

Alli bundled through a couple of challenges on the edge of the Switzerland penalty area and the ball broke for Kane, who rolled in Sterling only for the forward to fire straight at Sommer.

Sterling again missed an opportunity to open the scoring for England as he failed to connect with a low Alexander-Arnold cross.

Alli was the next England player to fluff his lines before the break, heading over Alexander-Arnold's cross when he should have found the back of the net.

After the interval and with England's forwards struggling to open the scoring it was Fabian Schar who nearly put the three lions in front.

The Newcastle defender got an outstretched leg to Rose's cross but could only turn it against his own post with Sommer beaten.

Yann Sommer in action against England (Photo by read MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP/Getty Images)
Yann Sommer in action against England (Photo by read MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP/Getty Images)

Switzerland broke forward shortly afterwards and Pickford had to be on hand to push behind a Granit Xhaka strike from 22-yards out.

Liverpool's Xherdan Shaqiri limped off injured just after the hour before a wayward Alexander-Arnold cross almost caught out Sommer.

England introduced Kyle Walker for Rose as Kane made way for Callum Wilson for the final 15 minutes.

The Bournemouth striker thought he had won it shortly afterwards as he turned home following Alli's powerful header against the crossbar.

But, just as in the semi-final against Holland, England were denied a late winner by the video assistant referee as Hategan ruled out the goal as Wilson appeared to foul Manuel Akanji.

Wilson's goal which is later disallowed following a VAR check. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Wilson's goal which is later disallowed following a VAR check. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Sterling passed up another decent opportunity as England started brighter than their opponents in extra-time.

Sommer then made a great double save to deny Alli and Sterling, with Southgate turning to Ross Barkley and Jadon Sancho off the bench heading into the final 15 minutes.

Barkley was involved immediately, rolling a fine ball through to Alexander-Arnold, with Wilson beaten to his low cross.

England hit the woodwork for the fourth time in the game as Sterling's late free-kick came back off the crossbar.

That proved to be the last chance of the game with the sides level after two hours of play and the third-place play-off going to a penalty shoot-out.

England prepare for their penalty shoot out. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
England prepare for their penalty shoot out. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Maguire stepped up to take the first penalty and thrashed it home to put England ahead.

Substitute Steven Zuber was the first up for the Swiss and levelled up by firing straight down the middle.

Barkley, whose error had helped the Dutch see off England for a place in the final, coolly sent his penalty home to keep England on top.

Xhaka was next up for Switzerland and also calmly dispatched his effort from 12 yards to make it 2-2.

Sancho made it five from five and kept England out in front, before Akanji kept up the 100 percent hit-rate.

Pickford saves the decisive penalty (Photo by Octavio Passos - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)
Pickford saves the decisive penalty (Photo by Octavio Passos - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Sommer went the right way for Sterling's penalty but it was too strong and England maintained their lead.

Kevin Mbabu was next up for Switzerland and levelled at 4-4 before Pickford removed his gloves to take England's fifth.

The Everton goalkeeper rattled home his penalty to lump the pressure on the Swiss.

Schar was the fifth penalty-taker for Switzerland and sent the shoot-out into sudden death with all 10 spot-kicks converted.

Eric Dier, the scorer of the winning penalty in the World Cup shoot-out victory against Colombia, kept the scoring going as he tucked home.

Josip Drmic, a late Switzerland substitute, was the man to miss the deciding penalty as Pickford dived the right way to push his effort away and secure the Nations League bronze medals for England with a 6-5 shoot-out win

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