Friday, July 12, 2024

Euro 2024: Spain triumph over Germany to make it to semis in extra time | The Express Tribune



STUTTGART, GERMANY:

A Mikel Merino goal in extra time gave Spain a dramatic 2-1 win over Germany in an enthralling quarter-final clash on Friday between the two most successful European Championship nations.

The game was into the 119th minute and looked set for a penalty shootout before substitute Merino rose to head home the winning goal from Dani Olmo’s cross and break the hearts of the majority of the crowd inside the Stuttgart Arena.

Spain were the better side for the first hour and wasted several opportunities before Olmo gave them a deserved lead six minutes after the break, drilling home a first-time shot into the bottom corner.

Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann made five substitutions in a desperate attempt to find the equaliser which paid dividends in the 89th minute as substitute Florian Wirtz, the Bundesliga’s player of the year for champions Bayer Leverkusen, hammered home a shot from Joshua Kimmich’s header to force extra time.

It was Spain, however, who found an extra gear when it mattered most to leave the German fans inside the stadium heartbroken after the hosts’ gritty display fell short by the narrowest of margins.

Also Read: Euro 2024: France beat Portugal to semis in penalties

Germany pushed hard for a late leveller and fullback Dani Carvajal was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for a foul on Jamal Musiala as he sought to avoid a counter attack. He and centre back Robin Le Normand will now miss the semi-final, where Spain will face France on Wednesday at 12 am (PST).

Carvajal’s red card was a fitting conclusion to an ill-tempered and nerve-racking encounter between two of the most impressive sides at Euro 2024. There were 38 fouls in the match and 16 bookings as referee Anthony Taylor flashed cards in an attempt to calm the situation.

Tensions were high from the first minutes following a nasty challenge by Germany midfielder Toni Kroos on Pedri who left the pitch in tears after sustaining what the Spanish FA said was a ligament injury to his left knee.



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