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Euro 2012: Spain Beats Portugal 4-2 in Penalty Shootout to Advance to the Euro Finals

 

The game went down to penalty kicks, and Spain got the best of Portugal.

The match between Spain and Portugal for the first semi-finals of Euro 2012 ended with no score from both teams after 120 minutes of physical play.  And with the penalty shootout testing both teams, the team of Iniesta defeated Ronald’s team with a 4-2 score.

In the last couple of days, Spain has been receiving criticisms with its boring style of play especially with its quarter finals match against France.  However, the Spanish players defended themselves saying that the style and game plan works for them.

In this semifinals win, their coach once again defended their game plan and style of play.

“We’re playing better in defense than what the characteristics of our players would suggest.  That’s what earns victories,” said ,” Spain coach Vicente del Bosque.

It was substitute Ces Fabregas who made the deciding penalty kick.

“I played poorly, but the team worked really hard.  I had this intuition that we could advance if we went to penalties and that’s what we did,” Fabregas said.

Earlier, Portugal’s Bruno Alves missed the kick as the ball hit the crossbar.  And when Fabregas sealed the deal, Portugal’s star player Cristiano Ronaldo did not have the chance to make his penalty kick after being put as fifth player assigned in the shootout.

There were many chances from both teams, but the defense of each team and the lack in quality in their finishes led to extra time and penalty shoot out.  The game was also very physical with Portugal’s Pepe getting a yellow card on his challenge on Alonso.

For Spain, it was Xabi who first made the penalty kick but Portugal’s Rui Patricio made a good save.  Spain’s keeper Iker Casillas also made a save for his team against Moutinho’s kick.  It was Iniesta, Pique and Ramos who made the scoring frenzy for Spain while Nani and Pepe made the mark for Portugal.

Spain will still have to wait for their opponent in the finals as Germany is still going to face Italy for the second semifinals match on Sunday.

Image credit: enstarz.com

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