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Here's how Pickford's magic bottle helped England reach Euro 2024 semi-finals | Sporting

England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford helped the Three Lions advance to the semi-finals of the European Football Championship currently being held in Germany as they beat Switzerland on Saturday.

England won 5-3 on penalties at the Düsseldorfer Stadion in Düsseldorf (1-1 after regular time and extra time), with Everton goalkeeper Pickford making an excellent save from Switzerland's first penalty, which was taken by Manuel Akanji.

The quintet of the Three Lions (Cole Palmer, Jude Bellingham, Saka, Ivan Toney and Trent Alexander-Arnold) managed to score all five goals in the first series.

Before England's penalty shootout with Switzerland, Pickford was seen hiding a water bottle under a towel with the names of the Swiss players and a possible method of taking the penalty written on it.

Beckford hides the water bottle under a towel (Reuters)

It appeared that Pickford followed the instructions carefully as he waited for Akanji to advance, heading in the direction of the England City defender's shot and blocking the ball.

Following his heroics against Colombia in the 2018 World Cup, Pickford once again saved England in the penalty shootout (4-3).

He has now saved four of his 14 penalties in major tournaments, twice as many as all other England goalkeepers saved between 1990 and 2012 combined (two of his 26).

The names of the Swiss players and their possible penalties are recorded on the Pickford flask (Getty)

The Three Lions, led by head coach Gareth Southgate, will face the winner of the match between the Netherlands and Turkey in the European semi-final next Wednesday.

This is England's fourth European Championship semi-final after 1968, 1996 and 2020. This is England's fourth European Championship semi-final after the 1966 World Cup on home soil, as they seek their first continental cup title and the second World Cup in history held on home soil in 2021, due to Covid-19).

England ended Switzerland's remarkable run in this tournament, dashing their hopes of reaching their first semi-final at a major tournament and preventing them from breaking a quarter-final tie that had eluded them in the 1934, 1938 and 1954 World Cups and the last two European Championships (2021 and 2024).


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