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Former Charlton defender makes first tournament start as England reach Euro 2024 semi-finals

Ezri Konsa made his first start at Euro 2024 as England beat Switzerland on penalties to reach the semi-finals.

The 26-year-old defender came into Gareth Southgate’s starting line-up in place of Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi, who was suspended for the quarter-final clash at the Merkur Spiel Arena.

Former Charlton defender Konsa, who made 86 appearances for the Addicks before moving to Brentford in 2018, starred for the Three Lions as they needed extra time and a shootout to book their place in the last four.

Swiss attacker Breel Embolo opened the scoring in the 75th minute but Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka scored five minutes later to take the game beyond 90 minutes.

Crystal Palace and South London’s Eberechi Eze was subbed on in the 78th minute to help England get back into the game.

England are in their third semi-final in four tournament appearances under Southgate and face the Netherlands on Wednesday.

Jordan Pickford saved Manuel Akanji’s opening effort as England converted all five of their penalties.

Southgate will now have to decide whether to stick with Aston Villa defender Konsa or put Guehi back into the team.

“I just thought the players were brilliant. It’s the best we have played,” Southgate told the BBC after the win.

“I thought we caused them a lot of problems. They are a really good side. They are hard to press, they are hard to defend against, their movement is good.

“To come from behind again and show the character and resilience we did, talking to the players about that, winning tournaments isn’t just about playing well. It’s not just about that. You’ve got to show other attributes to win and we showed them all tonight.”

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