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0 (2) vs 0 (4)
Played
June 27, 2012 2:45 PM EDT
Donbass Arena — Donets'k
Referee:‬ C. Çakιr‎
Attendance:‬ 48000‎
 
120+4′ (PSO) Pepe
Andrés Iniesta Luján 120+3′ (PSO)
120+6′ (PSO) Nani
Piqué 120+5′ (PSO)
 
Sergio Ramos 120+7′ (PSO)
 
Cesc Fàbregas 120+9′ (PSO)
Top of the Match
Pepe
Pepe
Portugal
Andrés Iniesta Luján
Andrés Iniesta Luján
Spain
Flop of the Match
Negredo
Negredo
Spain
Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo
Portugal

Portugal 0-0 Spain (aet, 2-4 on penalties): Fabregas puts holders into final

The Barcelona man netted the decisive spot kick after Bruno Alves had rattled the bar to book Spain a date in the showpiece event in Kiev on July 1

By Tom Webber

Spain progressed to its third consecutive major final on penalties after playing to a 0-0 draw with Portugal in the Euro 2012 semifinal at the Donbass Arena.

Despite playing at far from their best and with chances to find the net at a premium, a total of 120 minutes failed to separate the two sides. With the shootout level at 3-2 after Bruno Alves rattled the bar it was Cesc Fabregas who netted the winner.

Vicente Del Bosque sprung a real surprise before kickoff as he made one change to the side that defeated France in the previous round, electing to start with Alvaro Negredo ahead of both Cesc Fabregas and Fernando Torres.

His Portuguese counterpart Paulo Bento also made one change, his first after naming the same side for their six previous competitive fixtures. Helder Postiga was forced to begin among the substitutes with Hugo Almeida deputizing in his stead.

Portugal set about disrupting Spain's rhythm immediately by pressing its opponents high up the pitch. It worked for the opening few minutes as La Roja struggled to get their foot on the ball but they soon forged a chance for themselves.

Andres Iniesta played a give-and-go down the left flank with Jordi Alba before passing the ball into the box. Negredo could not get a shot away but managed to stab it back to the top of the box where Alvaro Arbeloa tried to caress it into the top corner but his attempt flew over the bar.

But the Spaniards were by no means dominating and Cristiano Ronaldo was proving difficult for Del Bosque's men to deal with. Two charging runs down the left however failed to result in anything to truly test Iker Casillas with a free kick and a wild volley on the spin inside the opening 25 minutes.

The Selccao continued their high-intensity pressing and Spain was unable to get the most out of Xavi when on the ball. A long ball forward resulted in an opportunity for Iniesta but he failed to hit the target but moments later Ronaldo pulled an effort wide of the goal.

Spain continued to look uncomfortable on the ball and just nine minutes after the restart Del Bosque admitted his prematch gamble had not paid off as he replaced Negredo with Fabregas.

Bento's side was getting a lot of joy from putting the Spaniards under pressure in their own half but Almeida failed to make the most of it in the 57th minute. After his side won the ball back he could have passed to Nani or Ronaldo but instead produced an ambitious shot from 35 yards that did not work Casillas.

Shortly after the hour mark Spain began to have its best spell of possession in the opposing half but there remained little to separate the two sides as the tension mounted. Xavi got the game's first shot on target with a drilled attempt that was straight at Rui Patricio, shortly followed by a Ronaldo free kick that flashed over the bar.

In the 90th minute Portugal found itself in a four-on-one but when the ball was shifted to the left Ronaldo failed to make a solid connection and blazed his well off target in what was the last opportunity of normal time.

As the Seleccao tired they were no longer forcing their opponents to play from deep, instead allowing them to control the ball in their own half during much of extra time. Del Bosque's side controlled the extra 30 minutes but Rui Patricio brilliantly thwarted both Iniesta and Jesus Navas either side of the break to ensure the game went to a penalty shootout.

Both teams got off to the worst start possible as Patricio and Casillas both saved from Alonso and Moutinho respectively. Iniesta, Pepe, Pique, Nani and Ramos all scored before Bruno Alves hit the bar to make the score 3-2 to Spain after four penalties each.

It offered Fabregas the chance to book their spot in the final and he obliged, scoring via the post and setting up a date in Kiev for the final with Germany or Italy on July 1.

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Portugal

1
Rui Patricio
Goalkeeper
3.00
22
Bruno Alves
Defender
86′ 128′
3.00
3
Pepe
Defender
61′ 124′
3.50
5
Fabio Coentrao
Defender
45′
3.00
12
João Pereira
Defender
64′
2.50
4
Miguel Veloso
Midfielder
93′ 106′
3.00
-
Joao Moutinho
Midfielder
122′
3.00
14
Raúl Meireles
Midfielder
113′
3.00
17
Nani
Striker
126′
3.00
7
3.00
9
Hugo Almeida
Striker
81′
1.50

Spain

3.50
1
Iker Casillas
Goalkeeper
2.50
3
Piqué
Defender
125′
3.00
4
2.50
17
Arbeloa
Defender
83′
3.00
18
Jordi Alba
Defender
2.50
8
2.00
6
Xavi
Midfielder
87′
2.50
14
Xabi Alonso
Midfielder
113′ 121′
3.00
16
Busquets
Midfielder
60′
1.50
21
David Silva
Midfielder
60′
1.50
9
Negredo
Striker
54′

Substitutes

-
Eduardo
Goalkeeper
 - 
-
Beto
Goalkeeper
 - 
20
 - 
35
Rolando
Defender
 - 
13
 - 
27
Custodio
Midfielder
106′
2.00
-
Quaresma
Striker
 - 
17
Rubén Micael
Midfielder
 - 
45
Hugo Viana
Midfielder
 - 
25
 - 
17
 - 
23
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
1
 - 
25
Pepe Reina
Goalkeeper
 - 
33
 - 
20
Juanfran
Midfielder
 - 
8
Javi Martínez
Midfielder
3.00
4
Cesc Fàbregas
Midfielder
54′ 129′
 - 
19
Santi Cazorla
Midfielder
2.50
15
3.00
7
Pedro
Striker
87′
 - 
9
 - 
8
Juan Mata
Striker
 - 
14

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
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