Spain 0 Portugal 0 – Fabregas penalty seals Spanish place in Euro 2012 final
For the third major tournament running, Spain have reached the final although they were pushed very hard by a talented Portugal team on Wednesday night who had an equal number of chances to win the game.
June 27th, 2012
Vicente del Bosque decided to field Alvaro Negredo in attack rather than Fernando Torres or Cesc Fabregas, although the Sevilla forward was largely ineffective against an organised Portuguese defence marshalled superbly by Pepe.
It was right-back Alvaro Arbeloa who had the best chance of the first half when blazing over inside the penalty area, while danger man Cristiano Ronaldo shot wide for Portugal with Iker Casillas covering the post.
Spain were unable to get their usual passing game going despite the introduction of Cesc Fabregas and there were nervous moments just before the end of normal time when Raul Meireles fed Ronaldo only for the Portuguese captain to blaze over.
Extra-time was bossed by the champions, with Jordi Alba getting down the left flank and feeding Andres Iniesta whose shot was well saved by Rui Patricio, while Pedro nearly jinked his way through on goal.
The penalty shoot-out was a curious affair which saw Alonso and Moutinho miss as the opening takers, with Ronaldo not getting a chance to be the fifth player for Portugal thanks to Bruno Alves hitting the crossbar.
It was left to Fabregas to deliver the knockout blow as his shot cannoned off the post and it is Spain who will meet Germany or Italy in the final.