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Euro 2008

26.06.2008 22:18

Spain reach the final (3-0)


Xavi Hernández scored the goal that opened the way for Spain to go on and record an historic win against Russia on Thursday evening and reach the European Championships final.

After watching Germany defeat Turkey in a dramatic encounter the evening before, the Spanish set up a meeting with Joachim Löw's side in the final of Euro 2008 thanks to a confident display in Vienna in their semi final.

Even first half

iniesta_spain.jpgLuis Aragonés side looked controlled throughout, but it was not until the second half that they truly took command of the match. In the opening stages though, Xavi twice created chances, one of which saw Fernando Torres test Igor Akinfeev. Little-by-little, Guus Hiddink's team came back into the game and when the half time whistle blew it was an even contest.

Villa out, Fàbregas in

With Andrei Arshavin marked out of the game and Roman Pavlyuchenko limited to two close chances, Spain were always likely to move ahead. Iker Casillas did have to make one save, but then there was some bad news as David Villa pulled up with an injury and has been ruled out of the game against the Germans. Cesc Fàbregas took his place in the team.

Xavi opened the scoring

finaL-spain.jpgJust eight minutes after half time, the first goal of the game finally arrived. Xavi raced into the area and as Iniesta fired the ball into the centre, he connected with it to guide it under Akinfeev and into the net. The two Barça players had combined superbly to find a way through the Russian defence. Soon after Torres had a couple of chances to double Spain's lead as Aragonés' side were buoyed by the goal.

Strong finish

A second was not long in coming though as substitute Dani Güiza controlled a flick over the defence from Fàbregas on his chest before edging forward and clipping the ball neatly past the approaching Akinfeev.

The third came when Russia were pushing forward and began with Iniesta releasing Fàbregas down the left wing and the former Barça youngster cross for David Silva to take a touch before guiding the ball into the net.
Spain reach the final (3-0)
Russia, 0 
Spain, 3

RUSSIA: Akinfeev, Anyukov, Berezutski, Ignasevich, Saenko (Sychev min.56), Arshavin, Semak, Zyryanov, Zhirkhov, Semshov (Byladetinov min 57) and Pavlyuchenko. 

SPAIN: Casillas, Ramos, Puyol, Marchena, Capdevila, Senna, Iniesta, Silva, Xavi (Alonsomin. 69), Torres (Güiza min. 69) and Villa (Cesc min 32).

1-0, Xavi (min. 50)
2-0, Güiza (min. 73)
3-0, Silva (min. 82)

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