Soccer News: UEFA EURO 2012 Semi Final Spain vs Portugal
UEFA has all the important information on the upcoming UEFA Europe with video interviews from top soccer players but here is our recap of the action between Portugal and Spain.
After Penalty-Shootout - Spain Is In The Euro-Final!
After game between ultra-defensive Portuguese and uninspired Spanish and mostly uneventful 120 minutes Spain won 4:2 after a dramatic penalty shootout and now stands in the final of the 2012 UEFA EURO.
After the misses of the first penalty-takers Xabi Alonso (Spain) and João Moutinho (Portugal) and goals by Iniesta, Pique and Ramos for Spain and Pepe and Nani for Portugal it was the miss of Portugal defender Bruno Alves and the following penalty kick goal by Cesc Fabregas which brought Spain to the final.
In the previous game Hugo Almeida replaced the injured Helder Postiga as expected, on the Spanish side coach Vicente del Bosque surprised with Sevilla-striker Álvaro Negredo who made is first EURO appearance in the starting formation of the Spanish team.
The game had only a few highlights, Portugal’s intensive pressing destroyed Spain’s passing game most of the time. It was definitely not a spectacular game but a game that impressed especially through the tactical formation of Portugal and their strong defense.
First chance to score for Spain was missed by right-defender Arbeloa who slightly shot over the goal 17 yards in the 9th minute. Also the scoop by Barcelona-midfielder Iniesta in the 29th minute didn’t find its target.
The next clear-cut chances were created by Portugal first Ronaldo missed after a nice pass from Moutinho right pass the goal in the 31st minute. Ronaldo missed the goal with one of his dangerous free-kicks in the 73. minute from 27 yards.
Maybe the biggest chance to win the game was after a counter attack in the 90. minute, Ronaldo missed this one again, shooting way above the goal.
The extra time was dominated by Spain again. After 104 minutes it was Portugal-keeper Rui Patrício who saved a shot by Iniesta from 6 yards who was completely unmarked.
One minute later it was Sergio Ramos who almost scored the goal of the game with a free-kick as swift as an arrow that was missing the triangle only closely.
The last chance of the game had substitute Jesús Navas after 111 minutes but Portugal keeper Patrício with another brilliant brought his team to the penalty-shootout.
In the end it was Bruno Alves who shot his penalty against the crossbar what gave Fabregas the chance to win the game for his team with his penalty. The strong-nerved midfielder scored in the bottom-left corner allowing Spain to advance to the final and sending Portugal home.
Spain now has the chance to win three international competitions in a row in the final on the 1st of July against either Germany or Italy. But one thing is sure, to achieve that aim Spain has to improve their performance to avoid another sweeping penalty-shootout.