"My players were heroes vs Spain" - Swiss Coach Petkovic

"My players were heroes vs Spain" - Swiss Coach Petkovic

After losing in a quarterfinal shootout to Spain, Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic believes his team will leave the Euros full of dignity.

The clubs went to extra time after captain Xherdan Shaqiri equalized in the second half, canceling out an early own goal.

The Swiss then failed to recreate their heroics against France in the round of 16 when two of their penalty kicks were saved by Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon, while Ruben Vargas blazed over.

"All these players were the heroes of the night. They would have deserved to go to the semi-finals," Petkovic told a news conference. "I cannot complain and I take my hat off to the team."

Petkovic claimed he couldn't blame Vargas for missing his penalty in the shootout, instead praising his player's mental toughness for even taking a spot-kick after such a long and arduous competition.

Simon saved both Manuel Akanji's and Fabian Schar's penalty kicks.

"We had to spend all our power and energy, and our energy ran out a little," said Petkovic. "Penalty kicks are a lottery and we lost it."

Petkovic said he had not properly seen the tackle in the 77th minute that led to the red card against Remo Freuler - who had an assist for the Switzerland equaliser - but thought it had looked more like a minor foul.

Freuler slid to regain possession of the ball, but he was captured by Gerard Moreno in the process.

"I question it a little bit, to be honest," Petkovic said. "He (Freuler) maybe touched him a little."