Spain beats France 2-1 to reach Euro 2024 final

Spain beats France 2-1 to reach Euro 2024 final
Spain beats France 2-1 to reach Euro 2024 final

Spain reached the Euro 2024 final with a 2-1 win over France on Tuesday.

Lamine Yamal, who is 16, became the youngest player to score a goal in the history of the tournament.

France took an early lead when Randal Kolo Muani scored from a cross by Kylian Mbappe, who was playing without his mask. Yamal tied the game in the 21e minute of play, then Dani Olmo scored what became the winning goal four minutes later.

“We were in a difficult position after being surprised to concede so early. I just took the ball and put it where I wanted. I’m very happy,” Yamal said.

“I don’t think about it too much. I want to have fun and help the team. If I can help, then I’m happy to have scored and for the victory,” he added.

Spain, who are seeking a fourth Euro title, will face the winner of the duel between England and the Netherlands in the final on Sunday in Berlin.

England and the Netherlands meet in Dortmund on Wednesday.

“We knew we were facing a great team and they proved it again tonight,” said France coach Didier Deschamps. “Even though we were lucky to open the scoring, Spain made life difficult for us.

“They were superior in terms of control and technique. The best team was Spain and they deserve the victory tonight.”

Mbappe had been wearing a protective mask since he fractured his nose in France’s first match of the Euro qualifiers.

He had complained that the device was bothering him and he seemed to regain his comfort by removing it. He orchestrated the first goal of the match in the ninth minute of play thanks to a superb pass to the far post that Kolo Muani headed in.

It was France’s first goal at Euro 2024 that wasn’t an own goal or a penalty. Fortunately for Les Bleus, they had been exceptional in their own territory, conceding just one goal — a penalty taken by Poland’s Robert Lewandowski in the preliminary round.

The French defence, however, were powerless to stop Yamal’s equaliser, as he curled the ball out of Mike Maignan’s reach and against the left post before it crossed the goal line.

Spain took control of the game four minutes later. Olmo’s shot was heading into the back of the net before being clumsily pushed into the net by France’s Jules Koundé. UEFA initially ruled it an own goal but later awarded the goal to Olmo.

“We are close to our goal. There is only one more step to take. The team is doing incredible things. We deserve to be in the final, one victory away from glory,” Olmo said. “Whether the goal is mine or Koundé’s, it doesn’t change anything. A goal is a goal. The important thing is that we are in the final.”

France dominated possession in the second half but were unable to capitalise.

Théo Hernandez saw his shot go over the crossbar late in the game. Mbappe followed suit with four minutes left.

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