Euro 2012: Spain through to final
- 27 June 2012 22:40
- Posted by David Clayton
Spain will play either Germany or Italy in the final of Euro 2012 after beating Portugal 4-2 on penalties.
The teams couldn’t be separated during normal time or 30 minutes of added time as the game ended 0-0 - it wasn’t the spectacle most people had hoped for - far from it.
The first-half proved to be a tactical battle that the Portuguese just about edged, though it was frustrating to watch at times.
David Silva was closely marked and closed down whenever he had the ball and his main contribution was one over-hit threaded through-ball just past the half-hour, though Spain’s best chance came when Arbeloa put the ball narrowly over from 15 yards out.
Cristiano Ronaldo often found two or three Spanish players around him whenever he got the ball and was subjected to a few borderline challenges as La Roja tried to snuff out their opponents’ main threat.
The Real Madrid star still managed to get one excellent cross in and also fired a shot one yard wide despite the close attention of a legion of markers.
Silva was withdrawn before the hour as Spain attempted to find a way through a packed Portugal defence – the City star was far from his best, but then again, the same could be said of the majority of his team-mates.
In fact, there was little invention from either side in a sterile 90 minutes that produced just one shot on target.
Extra time wasn’t much better with only a brilliant save by Rui Patricio denying Iniesta from six yards worthy of a note as Spain sensed Portugal were beginning to tire.
The Portuguese clung on as the match went to to penalties and despite Xabi Alonso missing the first spot-kick, Spain went on to win 4-2 to progress to their third final in four years.