Saturday, July 13, 2024

Spain dump Germany out of Euro 2024

Spain will face the winner between France and Portugal in the semi-finals.

and • July 5, 2024
Spain VS Germany
Spain VS Germany

Mikel Merino’s last-minute goal secured Spain a dramatic 2-1 victory over UEFA Euro 2024 hosts Germany, moving them closer to a record fourth European Championship title. 

This match, a rematch of the 2008 final, was highly anticipated. La Roja, champions 16 years ago, almost scored within the first minute when Pedri’s low shot was saved. 

Subsequent attempts by Nico Williams, Lamine Yamal, and Fabián Ruiz missed the target, while Germany’s Kai Havertz couldn’t get past Unai Simón with a close-range header.

Havertz continued to pose the biggest threat for Julian Nagelsmann’s side, testing Simón again with a disappointing finish after expertly controlling a long ball. Spain, however, ended the half stronger, with Dani Olmo and Yamal both denied by Manuel Neuer, ensuring the first half ended scoreless.

Spain maintained their momentum after the break, with Álvaro Morata missing a close-range opportunity created by Lamal. It was Lamal who eventually set up Olmo for a low finish into the bottom corner in the 52nd minute. 

Germany dominated the later stages and should have equalised when Havertz intercepted a loose ball from Simón’s goal kick, only to lob it over the bar with Simón rushing out. They seemed on the verge of elimination until Florian Wirtz scored in the dying seconds, firing into the far corner from a Joshua Kimmich knockdown, sending the match into extra time.

Extra time was predictably tense, with a semi-final spot against either Portugal or France at stake. Mikel Oyarzabal narrowly missed for Spain, and Wirtz was off target for Germany. After the break, a penalty check for a handball by Marc Cucurella was dismissed, and Niclas Füllkrug’s header was superbly saved by Simón.

Penalties seemed imminent until, with just 90 seconds left, Olmo’s cross found substitute Merino, who headed past Neuer. This goal secured Spain’s place in the semi-finals for the fourth time in five tournaments. Despite some late drama, including Füllkrug’s missed header and Dani Carvajal’s red card for a second booking, Germany could not find an equaliser, making them the first host nation to lose a European Championship quarter-final.

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