Victories for Germany and Switzerland get knockout stages underway at Euro 2024

What better way to end the first day of the Euro 2024 knockout stages in Germany than with a success story for the local heroes? Die Mannschaft – as the national squad is nicknamed throughout the land – beat Denmark in Dortmund 2-0 a few hours after Switzerland launched the last-16 party with a victory by the same scoreline over the defending champions Italy at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.

Germany began the 17th European championships – the third to boast 24 teams – in some style on 14 June with a 5-1 sanction of Scotland.

Next, Hungary were gobbled up 2-0 but the Germans couldn't roll the Swiss who nearly pulled off a famous victory but were pegged back in stoppage-time in Frankfurt.

But that angst has been dispatched into the hinterland. The hosts moved into the quarter-finals courtesy of a Kai Havertz penalty and a third goal in the tournament from Jamal Musiala.

And after a sterling performance against the Germans in the final game in Group A, the Swiss showed that 1-1 draw was no fluke.

They outclassed Italy.

Remo Freuler opened the scoring in the first-half and Ruben Vargas thrashed in the second from 25 metres just after the restart.

"I think we have shown many times, in big tournaments and in big games, that we can hold our own against the best," said Vargas.


"Whether we are praised by other people or not doesn't really matter to us," added the 25-year-old.

"We know where our qualities lie. And that's why we just concentrate on ourselves and try to bring our performance onto the pitch at the end of the day."

The Swiss will next take on England.

"You know, it was so important in terms of the mood change.

Read more on RFI English

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