The two goals of the match came from Spain’s Xabi Alonso, both in the 19′ by a beautiful header and in the 91′ off a penalty kick. The first half seemed promising for the Spanish, however their lack of a designated striker prevented them from being up an extra 2 goals. Fernando Torres came in at the second half, but couldn’t finish.
If I could describe this match up in one phrase it would be: Spain vs Benzema. Karim Benzema had no help from his teammates except Yohan Cabaye, who had a free kick but was quickly denied.
Spain advances to the semifinals of Euro, facing Portugal on Wednesday in an Iberian Derby. Big shocker there. Though there was part of me that hoped that France could somehow conquer and score a few goals. Now if you’re not too familiar with he rivalry of Portugal and Spain, let’s take you back to the 2010 World Cup.
Spain beat Portugal 1-nil, advancing to the semifinals after a ref mistakenly allowed a goal by David Villa, which was obviously offside. Since then the Portuguese have been rallying for another match up, as redemption. As long as Spain start a striker, Wednesday seems to be a very, head-to-head battle between the countries.
Our own Terry Munoz, who covered France in the Euros, gives us her perspective!
Although France lost to Spain today, I thought they played better than they had in their last game, when they faced Sweden and lost 2-0. France’s coach decided to bench Samir Nasri, and reports said that it based on his behavior after France’s lost Tuesday. Benching Nasri was a mistake, in my opinion; he’s been really good for France in this tournmanet.
They had their chances in the first half, but couldn’t score thanks to Spain’s keeper, Iker Casillas. In the first half, France was awarded a free kick and almost scored, but Casillas made a huge save. At HT, it was 1-0 Spain. France seemed to give up a little bit when they second half started, but they started connecting their passes and had a few chances to score, thanks to a few bad passes from Spain’s Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets.
Unfortunately, France gave away a penalty late in the game and Xabi Alons scored his 2nd goal of the match. I think France should be proud of themselves for making it to the QFs, although I had been hoping to see a France-Spain final. Oh well, there’s always the next Euro (which takes place in France). Congrats Spain!
Stay tuned to all your Euro 2012 coverage here on Aerys Sports!
Photo courtesy of UEFA