UEFA Euro 2024 semi-final – Spain v France

by Lorraine Williamson
Spain v France

FOOTBALL – Before Spain went into the semi-final match against France, they were the only side to have won all five matches of Euro 2024. Let´s take a look at what happened.

Furthermore, according to UEFA, no team in European Championship history had ever won 6 games in a single tournament and no team had ever won 6 Euro games in a row.  That was about to change as Spain took on France in the first of the semi finals of the UEFA Euro 2024 Championship at the Allianz Arena in Munich.

First half

Five minutes into the game and Spain have already had two chances. The first, after 3 minutes began with Yamal when he fired a pass out to Williams on the wing, who then sent it on Ruiz. Ruiz sent his shot from the penalty area to the far post, but Morata couldn´t get there in time to finish it off. The second chance came just 2 minutes later when Ruiz jumped and got to the ball, but headered it over the net.

But in the 9th minute, it was France that scored. Mbappe crossed the ball to Kolo Muani who headered it into the top corner. It was 0-1 for France

Despite the goal, Spain have had marginally more possession. The pace from both sides was fast. So far, this game was certainly not boring.

The equaliser

Then, after 21 minutes, 16-year-old Yamal claimed the equaliser, and scored an amazing goal as he sent a curling ball towards the top corner, hitting off the post and into the net.  Just 4 minutes later, Spain got their second goal. Dani Olmo claimed it, but his shot towards the bottom corner came off the outstretched leg of Kounde and into the back of the net.

Not even the half-hour mark and both teams needed a goal. France would need to equalise to stay in with a chance, and it was early days to rely on a 1-goal lead for Spain. A goal from France would change the whole dynamic. Mbappe and Dembele were looking dangerous.

There were two corners in quick succession – one for each end! The first was taken by Williams for Spain, but it was headed away by Muani. Dembele took the second corner, but it was sent away by Laporte.

Two minutes of stoppage time were added but the game remained 2-1.

Second half

Both sides were battling strong, and 7 minutes in France had a corner. Kounde ran down the right wing and played the ball low towards the net. Laporte got to it and sent it behind for the corner. Dembele took the corner and sent the ball into the middle for Tchouameni who got his head to it but sent it straight to Simon.

France were pressing but Spain were defending well. On the hour-mark, France had good chance from a counterattack when Kante took the ball through the middle and passed to Dembele on the right. Dembele fired a pass into the box for Mbappe, but Simon got to it first and flicked it away.

Series of substitutions

France then made a series of substitutions with Rabiot, Kante and Kolo Muani being replaced by Camavinga, Griezmann and Barcola.

Just on, and Camavinga created a nice chance as he played a pass over the Spanish defence. Mbappe got the ball and sent it to Hernandez, but Hernandez struck to hard, and the ball went behind for a goal-kick.

With 14 minutes of normal play remaining, and a chance came for France as Griezmann sent the ball towards the back post for Dembele who fired it across the box to Camavinga. The ball is then sent to Hernandez who´s shot went into the crowd.

The game remained at a fast pace with France threatening to score. Then in the final 10 minutes, a chance for Yamal came from just outside the penalty area, but he sent it over the bar. Five minutes later it was the turn for France to have a chance, but after a pass from Barcola, Mbappe with a clear shot at goal failed, and sent it over the bar.

Five minutes were added for stoppage time. The tension in the stadium could be felt from both sides. Spain needed to hang on for a few minutes, and France needed that goal to take it to extra time.

In the final minute of stoppage time, there was a late chance with a header from Griezmann. But the final whistle sounded, and the match finished 2-1. Spain were through to the final and Yamal received the Player of the Match award.

Other matches

The other semi-final takes place tonight as the Netherlands take on England at the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund. The winner will play against Spain in the final on Sunday July 14 at 9.00 pm.

 

ASSSA

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