Spain have progressed to the final of Euro2012 courtesy of a penalty shootout win over Portugal tonight.
It was a fairly dour struggle which did not quite live up to expectations in Donetsk and in the end Vicente del Bosque’s side edged Paulo Bento’s outfit 4-2 on penalties to book their spot in the July 1 final to be played in Kiev.
Portugal edged the first half with the second lot of 45 minutes basically a stalemate before Spain got right on top in extra-time but could not breach Rui Patricio’s goal.
However, the reigning European champions have a chance to defend their title where they now await the winner of tomorrow night’s other semi-final between Italy and Germany.
There were only a few real chances worth talking about throughout the 120 minutes, namely when Portugal broke dangerously in the 90th minute when Raul Meireles played a poor pass behind Cristiano Ronaldo who struck his left-footed effort well over Iker Casillas’ goal.
Spain had the chance of the match in the 13th minute of extra-time when Pedro cut it back for Andres Iniesta but Rui Patricio produced a world class save to deny the Barcelona ace before Jesus Navas twisted and turned in the area before seeing his shot parried away by Rui Patricio who was on his game late in the piece.
But the match went to penalties with Spain coming up trumps thanks to Cesc Fabregas slotting in off the upright to send La Furia Roja through to the decider.
The beginning of the shootout saw Rui Patricio deny Xabi Alonso and then Casillas keep out Joao Moutinho but it was Bruno Alves hitting the crossbar after he was sent back by Nani which basically decided proceedings. That and the fact Ronaldo did not step up to the spot with Portugal sending a defender forward rather than the team’s best player which could be a decision Bento lives to regret.
Euro2012 – Semi-Final
Spain: 0 *(Spain wins 4-2 on penalties)
Donbass Arena, Donetsk
Yellow cards: POR - Fabio Coentrao 45’, Pepe 61’, Joao Pereira 64’, Bruno Alves 86’, Miguel Veloso 90+3’
SPN - Sergio Ramos 40’, Sergio Busquets 60’, Alvaro Arbeloa 84’, Xabi Alonso 113’