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Euro 2008

22.06.2008 23:32

Spain makes it through the quarter finals (0-0, 4-2)


Luis Aragonés’s team has beaten Italy in a penalty shootout to get through to the semi-finals of Euro 2008. Spain will play Russia next Thursday.

After 88 years, Spain has beaten Italy in an official match and made it to the semi-finals of Euro 2008, for their first appearance at this stage of the competition since 1984. Luis Aragonés’s men overcame an Italian side that by the end was looking for penalties. But Cesc Fàbregas’s spot kick gave Spain victory and they will take on Russia in the semi-finals.

Three Barça players in the starting line-up

puyol_toni.jpgLuis Aragonés put out the starting XI he used in the first two group matches. Puyol was at the heart of the defence marking Luca Toni. Xavi distributed the ball from central midfield and Andrés Iniesta played in the inside slot exchanging positions with David Silva. In the second half, Xavi and Iniesta were replaced by Cazorla and Cesc. For the Italians, ex-Barça player Zambrotta was at right back while Perrotta and Aquilani stood in for the suspended Pirlo and Gattuso.

Spain dominate

The Spaniards had most of the possession and the best chances in the first half. Valencia players David Villa and David Silva had opportunities but came up against a very secure Gianluigi Buffon. The most dangerous man for Italy was Cassano who gave a fine assist in the 35th minute to Luca Toni for the Italians only clear chance in the first half, but his header came back off Carlos Marchena.

Impenetrable wall

Italy came out for the second half determined to take the initiative and in the 60th minute Casillas made a fine save from Camoranesi. The Italians tried high balls for Luca Toni but he was well marked by Puyol. In the last 20 minutes things changed around as Spain piled on the pressure. In the 80th minute Marcos Senna had a good chance and a Buffon fumble saw the ball miraculously come back off the post. Yet there was no way through the impenetrable wall of the Italian defence with Zambrotta having a fine game.

Extra time and penalties

celebracion_spain.jpgTiredness was taking its toll and chances came thick and fast in the first few minutes of extra time. First a strike from Silva just missed Buffon’s left-hand post, then Casillas saved from Di Natale and Luca Toni fired a header inches wide from a corner. In the second half the Italians were obviously waiting for penalties and managed to get them.

In the shootout, Casillas saved from De Rossi and Di Natale. Then ex-Barça player Cesc Fàbregas stepped up to score the goal that took Spain into the semi-finals of Euro 2008.
Spain makes it through the quarter finals (0-0, 4-2)
Match details
Spain, 0
Italy, 0

Spain: Casillas, Marchena, Puyol, Iniesta (Cazorla), Villa, Xavi Hernández (Cesc), Torres (Güiza), Capdevila, Sergio Ramos, Senna, Silva.

Italy: Buffon, Panucci, Grosso, Chiellini, Toni, De Rossi, Ambrosini, Cassano (Di Natale), Zambrotta, Perrotta (Camoranesi), Aquilani (Del Piero).


1-0 David Villa
1-1 Grosso
2-1 Cazorla
3-1 Senna
3-2 Camoranesi
4-2 Cesc

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