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Swiss beat France on penalties to reach Euro 2020 last eight

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(Last Updated On: June 29, 2021)

Switzerland’s Yann Sommer saved France striker Kylian Mbappe’s penalty to secure a 5-4 shootout win over the world champions following a thrilling 3-3 draw after extra time on Monday to reach the Euro 2020 quarter-finals where they will meet Spain.

On a memorable evening for Swiss football, the so-called Nati repeatedly beat the odds, coming from 3-1 down with two goals in the final five minutes to force extra time and eventually penalties.

It was Switzerland’s first knockout stage victory at a tournament since 1938 and the first time they have made the last eight since the 1954 World Cup which they hosted. They will next face Spain on Friday in St Petersburg.

“Honestly I am still in shock,” said Sommer, who became the most capped Swiss keeper with 65 international appearances.

“We showed courage, heart, we left everything out there. When you come back from two goals down against the world champions it is just unbelievable, and then to win on penalties, I could not be prouder of the way we did it.”

France, who had started with an unusual three-man defence and lacked any real bite up front in the first half, looked to be heading for victory when Karim Benzema struck twice in two minutes early in the second half.

He latched on to Mbappe’s through ball in the 57th minute to cancel out Switzerland’s first-half lead from Haris Seferovic’s header.

Benzema then headed home from near the goal-line two minutes later to take his tournament tally to four as France grabbed control of the game only minutes after the Swiss missed a 55th minute penalty and the chance to go 2-0 up when Hugo Lloris saved Ricardo Rodriguez’s spot kick.

By the time Paul Pogba curled a sensational shot into the top corner in the 75th minute to make it 3-1 for France, who had reverted to a four-man backline in the second half, few believed the momentum could shift once more.

“Nobody believed in us anymore at that stage,” Sommer said. “But before the game we had said no matter what happens in the game, it doesn’t matter if we’re down, or if things are going well, we play until the end.

“We felt France had become a bit complacent and maybe thought they had already won it. So we used that to our advantage.”

Seferovic sneaked into the box again to head in his second goal with five minutes left and substitute Mario Gavranovic beat Lloris to snatch a 90th-minute equaliser and force extra time after France substitute Kingsley Coman’s drive hit the bar.

Olivier Giroud twice came close for France having come off the bench but the game was to be resolved on penalties where Sommer swatted Mbappe’s spot kick away after five Swiss players had scored to earn their first ever tournament shootout win.

The result means France coach Didier Deschamps will miss out on becoming the first man to win World Cup and Euro titles both as a player and a coach.

“It is my responsibility and I told the players that I assume it,” Deschamps, who won the 2018 World Cup with France, said of the shock loss.

“When France win merit goes always to the players. When things are less good then it is my responsibility. But that’s the way sport is. You have to accept it even if it hurts.”

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Magnitude-6.5 earthquake shakes Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: March 21, 2023)

An earthquake of magnitude 6.5 shook Afghanistan at 9:17 pm local time on Tuesday, the United States Geological Survey (USGC) reported.

The quake happened at a depth of 187.6 kilometers and its epicenter was in Badakhshan province, according to USGC.

People in Kabul were seen leaving buildings as the earthquake struck.

Tremors were felt also in Pakistan and India.

There were no immediate reports of human casualties or property damage, if any.

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Three-day expo held in Kabul to boost domestic products

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(Last Updated On: March 21, 2023)

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MoIC) says a three-day expo titled “Premier Services of National Expo” was opened in Kabul on Tuesday in support of domestic products.

Female and male entrepreneurs showcased their products at this expo.

MoIC officials have said that in this new Solar Year, 1402, supporting domestic products is their priority and they are considering a plan that government institutions will have to purchase domestic products only.

The officials said they are still trying to attract investment and increase the country’s exports abroad.

“We are in contact with countries so that our products are marketed abroad and our products reach there,” said Qudratullah Jamal, deputy minister of industry and commerce.

“It is the duty of youth to once again work for greenery, reconstruction, economic development, technology and other sectors for the country,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman of the IEA.

In addition, the Ministry of Economy has also said that despite international sanctions and pressure, the IEA was able to control the economic situation to some extent.

According to this ministry, it will expand economic activities in the country in 1402.

“Not only did we act appropriately and decently in providing services, but we also maintained the price of goods and the price and value of services,” said Abdul Latif Nazari, deputy minister of economy.

At this expo, dozens of male and female entrepreneurs have displayed their products and asked people to support the domestic market.

“Again, women did not accept failure and more women are engaged in handicrafts,” said Yalda, a female entrepreneur.

The expo is open to visitors for three days, and several similar expos have been held in recent months in Kabul and in provinces around the country.

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Over 50 instances of artifact smuggling prevented in last 18 months: officials

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(Last Updated On: March 21, 2023)

More than 50 cases of smuggling of antiques have been prevented in the last 18 months, officials in the Ministry of Information and Culture said on Tuesday.

“More than 50 artifacts have been seized. We have put the artifacts on display. This is a great achievement. These artifacts were obtained from different areas and customs during the last year and a half,” said Zabihullah Sadat, head of the archeology department of the Ministry of Information and Culture.

Officials at the National Museum of Afghanistan said that they are committed to preserving antiques.

“The National Museum is a place where antiques are kept and preserved, and we are committed to preserving the antiques. The National Museum has also helped prevent smuggling of antiques,” said Mohammad Zubair Abedi, head of the National Museum.

In the latest case, 75 ancient coins were discovered in Baghlan province and handed over to the National Museum in Kabul.

The Department of Information and Culture of Baghlan said that these coins were obtained with the cooperation of local people of Jalga district.

“People’s cooperation in this regard is very necessary. Unless there is cooperation of people, no activity will be done properly. Alhamdulillah, here too, it was the cooperation of the people that we could seize this number of objects,” said Asadullah Mustafa Hashemi, the head of Baghlan Information and Culture Department.

More than 50,000 historical and cultural artifacts from different eras have been registered and put on display at the National Museum in Kabul.

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