Monday , July 22 2024

Euro round-up: Heartbreak for Germany fans, Portugal eliminated

Mikel Merino was the unlikely hero for Spain, as France win after penalty shoot-out

Spain 2 – 1 Germany: dramatic to the last minute

German supporters watch on in Berlin as their country was eliminated from Euro 2024 by Spain. AFP/VNA Photo

Mikel Merino was the unlikely hero for Spain, as his last-gasp header deep into extra-time sent his nation into the Euro 2024 semi-final.

Spain arguably edged the first half, having eight shots to the hosts’ three, but none of their attempts came inside the box.

Dani Olmo opened the scoring in the 52nd minute, with a low shot into the far corner from Lamine Yamal’s cross.

A late goal from Florian Wirtz took the game to extra-time. Joshua Kimmich headed down a lofted ball into the box that fell to Wirtz who slammed it home.

Germany played better in most of the extra time but was denied a penalty by referee Anthony Taylor in the 107th minute. Jamal Musiala’s long-range shot hit Marc Cucurella’s hand.

VAR Stuart Attwell also did not intervene and no penalty was given

Ironically, Germany conceded in the final minutes with Merino’s 119th-minute header.

Germany midfielder Toni Kroos announced he retired from all football, sadly leaving the game with a devastating loss.

Portugal 0-0 France (3-5 Pens):

France players celebrate their quarter-final victory via a penalty shoot-out against Portugal at Euro 2024. AFP/VNA Photo

France are through to the semi-finals of Euro 2024 after beating Portugal 5-3 on penalties following disappointing 120 minutes boring football in Hamburg. They progress to the last four having still not scored a goal from any of their 86 non-penalty shots at the tournament.

Portugal played better, especially in the second half and extra time. Coach Roberto Martinez’s team had 63 per cent of position.

Kylian Mbappe continued to disappoint, still clearly off the boil after suffering a facial injury in the opening match.

Missing many opportunities, the two teams drew 0-0 after 120 minutes before Portugal lost 3-5 in the penalty shootout due to Joao Felix’s missed kick which ended Martinez’s and his team’s hopes of continuing.

This result means that Cristiano Ronaldo has not scored in a major tournament for Portugal for the first time. This is also the last time the 39-year-old striker with feature at an international tournament. VNS

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