Tuesday , July 16 2024

Spain comeback to win against France and advance to fifth Euros final

Despite Randal Kolo Muani bringing France an early lead, Lamine Yamal and Dani Olmo turned the game on its head with two goals in four minutes to secure La Furia Roja’s fifth European Championship final, and their third one in the 21st century.

Spain’s Lamine Yamal (R) became the youngest goalscorer in Euros history as he helped eliminate France in the semi-final. — AFP/VNA Photo

Anh Đức

MUNICH — Spain are one step closer to become a record four-time Euros winner after beating another titan in France to progress to the final.

Despite Randal Kolo Muani giving France an early lead, Lamine Yamal and Dani Olmo turned the game on its head with two goals in four minutes to secure La Furia Roja‘s fifth European Championship final, and their third this century.

The match started in a tit-for-tat, thrilling vibe, defying pundits’ expectations of a tight and cautious first half. On the day that Kylian Mbappe was cleared to remove his protective mask, the superstar after eight minutes provided a pinpoint cross for Randal Kolo Muani to head in France’s opener.

This is France’s first open play goal in the tournament, after over 100 shots on target. The French also held another record: being the only team that never conceded a goal from open play, that is until the 21st minute of this match.

There was no fault whatsoever for Didier Deschamps’ defence, as Spain’s first goal was nothing but a masterpiece. The artist? 16-year-old Lamine Yamal, who earlier in the tournament had to delay an exam at his school to participate in the Euros.

From a distance of around 25 metres, Yamal feigned and delivered a powerful curled shot from his left foot, in a style akin to his idol Lionel Messi. The ball rocketed into the top corner of the net, giving Mike Maignan no chance.

At 16 years and 362 days old, Yamal became the youngest goalscorer in a major international tournament, breaking the legend Pele’s 68-year record.

Yamal’s goal seemed to have revitalised Spain, and gave them the confidence to keep on pushing forward. Just four minutes later, a clearance by a French defender reached Dani Olmo, who danced past Aurelien Tchouameni and fired a low shot towards Maignan’s goal. Despite Jules Kounde’s effort to clear the ball off the line, the ball still found its way into the back of the net.

Olmo is perhaps one of the tournament’s surprising stars, with his three goals in the knockouts putting him on the hunt for the top scorer award.

With the lead, Spain held on to control of possession, and also the game, mitigating chances from France even in the second half. Les Bleus’ most dangerous opportunity came in the 86th minute, but Mbappe’s shot from 10 metres flew way over the bar.

This result puts Spain into the final on Sunday with almost all of their core players available, and they will face the winner of England against Netherlands who play tonight in Berlin’s Olympiastadion. — VNS

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