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Spain first finalist after 2-1 win against France

Spain is in the European Championship final after a 1-0 victory over France.

The Iberians beat France 2-1 (2-1) in Munich on Tuesday and will now fight for the coveted trophy on Sunday in Berlin against the winner of the second semi-final on Wednesday between England and the Netherlands. For the Spaniards, it is their fourth EURO title in total, their first since 2012. “Les Bleus”, on the other hand, must still wait for their third triumph at a continental final.

After France took the early lead through Randal Kolo Muani (8th minute), Spain’s 16-year-old young star Lamine Yamal became the youngest ever goalscorer at the European Championships with a dream goal. The winning goal was scored by Dani Olmo (25th minute).

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Antoine Griezmann was on the bench for the French team, but Adrien Rabiot returned after being suspended for the quarter-final against Portugal. Spanish team manager Luis de la Fuente had to make three changes – Pedri was injured, Dani Carvajal and Robin Le Normand were serving suspensions. This meant, among other things, that Jesus Navas, the last remaining player from Spain’s 2010 World Cup-winning squad, played as right-back.

Kolo Muani put France in the lead

In this position, the 38-year-old had to deal with Kylian Mbappe – and had problems, including with the goal conceded. First, Navas lifted the offside on a pass to France’s top star, then he gave Mbappe too much space and time. The future Real Madrid professional curled a perfect cross into the middle, Kolo Muani only had to nod it in and thus scored France’s first goal from open play at this tournament that was not an own goal.

  • Read more: Spain star Yamal was bathed by Lionel Messi as a 6-month-old baby

Shortly before, Fabian Ruiz had missed a promising opportunity for Spain, heading the ball over the bar from inside the box (5th minute). The Spaniards were not put off by the early deficit, and their young star provided a real highlight less than a quarter of an hour after the 0-1. Yamal positioned the ball a good 20 metres from the goal and flicked it into the net via the inside post. This made the Barcelona professional, at the age of 16 years and 362 days, the youngest goalscorer at a continental finals, surpassing the Swiss Johan Vonlanthen.

Spain turned the game around

The celebrations for Yamal’s brilliant shot had barely died down when the Spaniards struck again. William Saliba cleared a Navas cross right to Olmo’s feet, the Leipzig professional left Aurélien Tchouaméni standing and shot at the far corner. Jules Kounde’s attempt to save the ball failed and flew off the defender’s foot into the net. However, UEFA attributed the goal to Olmo, which means that the total number of own goals scored so far this EURO remains at ten.

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For the first time in this tournament, the French were behind and proved unable to cope with the challenge. They rarely managed to get through against the clever Spaniards, and no clear chances were created either before or after the break. The only time the runners-up posed a threat was with a header from Dayot Upamecano (63′) and shots from Theo Hernandez (76′) and Mbappe (86′), but all attempts missed the target.

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Spain’s bulwark held – thanks in part to Marc Cucurella, who was booed by the German crowd every time he touched the ball. The sting of the penalty not being given after an alleged handball by the defender against Germany still runs deep.

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