European Championship

June 27, 2012

Final score - after penalties

Portugal

(2)0 - 0(4)

Spain

European Championship

18:45 +00:00, June 27, 2012

Donbass Arena, Ukraine

  • 122'

    More heartbreak for Portugal, and that Ronaldo penalty decision will haunt them for years you feel. For Spain, they march on. Can they make history and win a third successive major tournament? And who will they face? Germany or Italy? Join us tomorrow to find out....

  • 122'

    You can see Ronaldo's logic, saving himself for what might have been the key penalty but to get through the shoot-out without having your best spot kick taker strike a ball in anger is ridiculous. He should have taken the fourth - the one Alves missed.

  • 121'

    It's never a nice way to settle a game but it had an air of inevitability about it. The Bruno Alves episode was the bizarre thing about that shootout. He stepped up to take the third, then Nani stopped him. When Alves did step up for the following penalty, he was destined to miss.

  • 120'

    Ronaldo didn't even get the chance to take his penalty as he is forced to watch Fabregas dink his spot kick in off the post and into the opposite corner.

  • 120'

    GOAL He scores and Spain are into their third successive major final!

  • 120'

    Fabregas to win it for Spain....

  • 120'

    Missed! He hits the bar and Spain are one kick away from the final.....

  • 120'

    Bruno Alves now.....

  • 120'

    GOAL A Panenka pen and Spain lead 3-2!

  • 120'

    Sergio Ramos for Spain now. This is the fourth pen....

  • 120'

    GOAL Superb from Nani, right into the top corner. The late swap worked. 2-2!

  • 120'

    Sorry, Nani instead, they just swapped....

  • 120'

    Bruno Alves....

  • 120'

    GOAL Good pen from Pique, right into the corner. Spain 2-1 Portugal.

  • 120'

    Here comes Pique now....

  • 120'

    GOAL Lovely pen from Pepe and we are all square at 1-1!

  • 120'

    Pepe now....

  • 120'

    GOAL Finally - a goal! Iniesta scores and Spain lead 1-0.

  • 120'

    Iniesta now...

  • 120'

    Saved! Casillas guesses the right way and we are still level at 0-0!

  • 120'

    A fantastic save from the keeper, Alonso struck it well but he got a fingertip on it. Advantage Portugal as Moutinho steps up.

  • 120'

    Saved by Patricio!

  • 120'

    Right, here we go. Xabi Alonso is first for Spain.

  • 120'

    Ronaldo, again, will be central to this. He will probably take Portugal's first penalty. He missed in the Champions League final shootout in 2008 remember.

  • 120'

    We got to the last quarter-final without witnessing a 0-0 draw in Euro 2012, now we've had two in a row.

  • 120'

    Despite the odd few openings in that second period of extra time, in truth, we were always destined to get to this point. There were only about two clear cut chances in the entire game and perhaps it is fitting that the lottery of spot kicks should decide the game.

  • 119'

    FULL TIME - and so, we go the penalty spot to decide who will be the first team to reach the Euro 2012 final.

  • 119'

    For a second it looks like Pedro is about to score an absolute world beater to settle this, as he steps inside three players but can't keep his footing to fire in a shot.

  • 118'

    Great control from Alba and a fine, fierce cross to boot, but Alves does well to clear.

  • 117'

    Iniesta is flagged offside as he gets a return from Busquets near the penalty area.

  • 116'

    Cool defending from Coentrao as he nods a Alba cross to Pepe to clear under pressure from Pedro.

  • 115'

    Fabregas gives away a free kick this time as he leans into Pereira when trying to meet Navas' cross.

  • 114'

    Fabregas sends Pedro away with a cute pass, he doesn't want to strike with his left so tries to cut inside and Pepe hoofs the ball behind when it breaks loose.

  • 113'

    Alonso catches Ronaldo, another Real Madrid on Real Madrid clash, and is rightly carded.

  • 112'

    Meireles trudges off as Portugal make their final change. Varela is on.

  • 111'

    Navas again making inroads as he twists inside the area, cuts outside and fires from a narrow angle. Patricio saves, the ball hits Pepe and the keeper claims at his feet. Spain half claimed a back pass there but Pepe was so close to the keeper it would have been unbelievably harsh.

  • 110'

    It is Portugal who look out on their feet now though. They are playing exclusively on the break.

  • 109'

    Ramos matches Ronaldo in a running tussle and wins the ball. Ron goes down after claiming he got a boot in the hip from his Real Madrid chum.

  • 108'

    Coentrao bursts down the left in a rare break forward but his cross can't find Ronaldo, who was the only one in the box.

  • 107'

    Portugal had two extra rest days after their quarter-final - could that prove crucial?

  • 106'

    Custodio comes on for Portugal as the second half begins. Miguel Veloso heads off.

  • 105'

    HT in ET Sergio Ramos unloads on the free kick rather than Alonso crossing and his dipping effort shaves the top of the crossbar as it flies over.

  • 105'

    Pepe blocks off Alonso and Spain have a free kick as we nudge into added time in the first half of extra time.

  • 104'

    Iniesta held his head in his hands after that miss. He struck it reasonably well on the bounce but Patricio did well to claw it round the post.

  • 103'

    What a chance for Iniesta as Spain finally create an opening! Pedro gets to the byline and pulls it back and Iniesta's effort is saved superbly by Patricio.

  • 102'

    A half chance for Oliveira as he tries to dodge round Arbeloa but the Spain man gets the ball back to Casillas.

  • 101'

    The corner is taken short to Navas, who again fails to beat the first man and wins another corner. As you were.

  • 100'

    Navas again is willing to cross but this is a poor one. He does win a corner off Meireles though.

  • 99'

    Pepe charges towards a looping ball to clear from his own box and Busquets bears the brunt of the follow through as he hits the turf rapido.

  • 98'

    Ronaldo got the ball in Spain's final third but was well tracked and tackled by Pique on the left.

  • 97'

    Practically nothing from Portugal in an attacking sense, until now perhaps....

  • 96'

    Navas crosses from the left - at least he is willing to put the ball in the mixer - as it is cleared Iniesta fires in a low shot but Pepe blocks.

  • 95'

    Good tackling is being penalised in this game. Moutinho hooks the ball away from Iniesta but Spain win the free kick.

  • 94'

    There's a very odd atmosphere inside the stadium too. Not much noise at all. Quite a lot of empty seats too.

  • 93'

    A desperately slow pace to the start of the extra period (desperately trying to fill).

  • 92'

    Decent stat to start ET: Ronaldo has had 70 shots from outside the box at Euros and World Cups, but is yet to score.

  • 91'

    Right, another 30 minutes to enjoy, and we are off....

  •  

    Well, what a disappointment that was. The first half wasn't exactly pulsating but it promised the second would be better. It wasn't. It was hopeless. Spain more authoritative but Portugal still looking occasionally menacing. Please, no penalties.

  • 94'

    FULL TIME - an extra half an hour beckons and we can only hope it is a lot better than the previous 90 we have just witnessed.

  • 93'

    Still time for Veloso to get booked for a strong tackle on Jordi Alba. He did win the ball.

  • 92'

    Spain's corner ends up back with their keeper. Alonso's deep ball to Iniesta, back to Alba, back to Casillas.

  • 91'

    Three minutes added time as Coentrao concedes a corner with Navas breathing down his neck.

  • 90'

    The free kick is nodded clear and all of a sudden Portugal have four on two for a second. Meireles gives it to Ronaldo, the ball is a little behind him, before he fires over with his left from 16 yards.

  • 89'

    Veloso bumps into Alonso and Spain win a free kick on the left flank. Alonso to take.

  • 88'

    Excellent defending from Jordi Alba to track Nani down the right, win the ball, then win a free kick.

  • 87'

    So that means Spain will operate for the rest of the game in this 4-6 formation. No Torres, no Llorente.

  • 86'

    Xavi, who hasn't got into the game tonight, makes way for Barcelona team-mate Pedro.

  • 85'

    Ronaldo has a dig at Busquets, then as Spain take the free kick quickly Alves chops down Fabregas and joins a long list in the book.

  • 84'

    The TV commentators give this latest Ronaldo free kick a preposterous build up, then he fires it two yards over the bar. Not been on form from set pieces tonight.

  • 83'

    Ronaldo's free kick hits the wall, more specifically Arbeloa's arm as he jumped, so it another free kick and a booking.

  • 82'

    Navas threads his way to a wide position and tries to cross but Pepe clears, then Ronaldo is fouled by Alonso and Portugal have another free kick in range.

  • 81'

    Hugo Almeida trots off and Nelson Oliveira. The past replaced by the future.

  • 80'

    Veloso took it with his left foot but bent it right at Casillas before any of his team mates could try and get a nod on it. Not great.

  • 79'

    It hasn't been a great second half in all honesty. Now Ramos gives away a free kick for a tackle on Nani. Portugal free kick wide right.

  • 78'

    Fabregas' eyes light up as he gets the ball in shooting range but his effort spins wide.

  • 77'

    Both sides are getting increasingly ratty with our referee as he continues to peep his whistle frequently.

  • 76'

    Another cruncher from Bruno Alves, hoofing Fabregas in the leg. How did he not get booked for that?

  • 75'

    Portugal have to make more of their opportunities - they had an overlap there but the ball to Nani didn't allow him to run on and strike the ball. They eventually cross for Almeida but he can't nod it back across goal.

  • 74'

    Portugal have retreated deeper now and are finding it harder to get close to their men. Not that Spain are creating lots in the way of space or chances yet.

  • 73'

    It was a sweet, powerful strike but never looked like dipping underneath the bar.

  • 71'

    Another free kick awarded by our Turkish ref, though Arbeloa did step into Ronaldo's path. He stands over the ball, 30 yards out and to the left of centre.

  • 70'

    This is about the time when teams who decide to press high up the field can tire a little and leave themselves vulnerable. Spain certainly on top now.

  • 69'

    Pereira flicks a leg out after tackling Jordi Alba. Tensions rising a little here.

  • 68'

    That was Spain's first shot on target would you believe. At the other end, Almeida again takes on a narrow angle and doesn't trouble Casillas.

  • 67'

    Alonso tries a shot from inside his own half having spotted Patricio off his line. Length was good but direction lacking, then Xavi fires in a shot right at the keeper from 25 yards.

  • 66'

    Spain more dominant after their changes but Portugal still looking like they can pose a threat at the other end.

  • 65'

    Xavi fires it in at the near post but Almeida nods smartly behind for a corner.

  • 64'

    Good run from Fabregas - he offers the ball up to Iniesta and goes for the return but Pereira tugs him to the floor and is booked.

  • 63'

    If the first half was bubbling up nicely, this second half has seen the electricity turned off.

  • 62'

    Meanwhile, Jesus Navas has come on for David Silva.

  • 61'

    Now Pepe is carded for beating Alonso to an aerial ball. There was contact with the Spain midfielder's back, but isn't that unavoidable when he's jumping for the ball? Foul maybe but not a card.

  • 60'

    Busquets is carded for attempting to get Ronaldo booked as he falls over at the end of a run with Ramos. Good.

  • 58'

    Another effort from Almeida after a good ball from Ronaldo. It was a tight angle but thanks to Busquets tug on Ronaldo, he didn't have much in support.

  • 57'

    Space and time for Almeida, who has a pop on goal. It flies over the bar but Ronaldo was up in support.

  • 56'

    The Mexican wave gets a run out in response to a slow start to the half.

  • 55'

    That should give Spain a lift and though their tactic of playing without a striker has been much maligned, it has worked pretty much every time they have employed it.

  • 54'

    No prizes for guessing who Fabregas replaces. Negredo has had a very poor evening.

  • 53'

    Looks like Fabregas is about to come on.

  • 52'

    Space for Moutinho to trot into but he delays his pass wide to Pereira but he wins a corner.

  • 51'

    Spain win their first corner as they work the ball wide and Arbeloa's cross is nodded behind by Pereira.

  • 50'

    When Portugal decide to press they do it to Casillas as well, so he can't just take his time on the ball and roll it out to one of his defensive colleagues.

  • 49'

    Good cross into the box from Nani but Pique nods clear above Almedia.

  • 48'

    Alonso very nearly found Xavi in a dangerous position on the edge of the box. We've hardly seen anything from the Barca man yet.

  • 47'

    The referee has started this half by blowing his whistle every 15 seconds.

  • 46'

    We begin again...

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    I wonder if we might finally see Llorente in the second half? Torres and Fabregas probably more likely to come on but I'd love to see the Bilbao front man given a chance to show what he can do.

  •  

    A measure of the unfamiliar game the world champions are having to play: Spain made 14 clearances in the first half, Portugal made just two.

  •  

    Negredo looks a little like the occasion has got to him. Not much passion or trickery to speak of. Portugal have encouraged Spain to play down the flanks and have pressed the midfield as much as they can.

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    Ronaldo's shot squirms wide of Casillas' upright

  • 45'

    HALF TIME - an entertaining half and Spain looking a little rattled at times. Bento's tactics have been good, pressing high at particular times and we've seen Spain launch the ball up field more than I can remember. When they have done, Negredo hasn't made it stick.

  • 45'

    A yellow for Coentrao, we think, for dissent. All happened pretty quickly.

  • 44'

    Portugal will be very pleased with their evening's work so far. Spain look far from world beaters under this kind of pressure.

  • 43'

    The other lads in the office are now furiously checking what odds they can get on Ramos to get sent off after that relatively early yellow for him.

  • 42'

    A long ball from Pepe is misjudged by Pique and Almeida almost nips in before Casillas is out to claim.

  • 41'

    Poor lay-off from Negredo hands Portugal possession. Prior to that he nonchalantly jogged forward as Spain attacked - there was a huge gap between centre half and right back but he wasn't at all interested in running the channel.

  • 40'

    Ramos gets a yellow for blocking off Ronaldo as he gave the ball to Meireles and went for the return.

  • 39'

    Almeida's header nearly falls for Negredo after Spain put a cross into the box. Not quite sure why Portugal's lone striker was in his own area defending.

  • 38'

    Alonso's quick switch of play opens up an attack for Spain on the right - on Ronaldo's side - but Silva tries an over elaborate pass (who'd have thought it?) instead of shooting from the box edge.

  • 37'

    Negredo finally contributes something by winning a free kick from Bruno Alves. I wouldn't fancy an arm wrestle against the big Portuguese centre half.

  • 36'

    Nani's back, the brave soldier.

  • 35'

    Nani stays down after running into Alba. He may have got a little bump on his face from Ramos' shoulder but surely it doesn't warrant these theatrics?

  • 34'

    Portugal are managing to keep Xavi well out of this game so far and that seems to have shaken Spain.

  • 33'

    Iniesta overruns the ball as he neglects to use his left foot to cross. Hanging on for his right foot flick meant the ball crossed the byline.

  • 32'

    Only 56% possession for Spain in the opening 25 minutes - much down on their usual.

  • 31'

    Spain do look rattled here - they aren't used to people playing them at their own game.

  • 30'

    Ronaldo is getting closer as more pressing from Moutinho offers good possession on the edge of the box but the striker's shot clips the side-netting.

  • 29'

    Astonishing from the referee as he blows for a foul for Portugal just as Nani broke away from his man and prepared to charge on Ramos and Pique. Cüneyt Çakır has been terrible so far.

  • 28'

    Comically a huge punt down field from Alonso offers Spain's best chance. Negredo holds it up, finds Silva, he lays off to Iniesta on the left side of the area but his shot is narrowly over the bar.

  • 27'

    Superb pressing from Portugal and especially Meireles as he charges 20 yards to close down Pique, wins the ball back and very nearly wins a penalty off Ramos after he fell on a low cross inside the box. All chest and chin though.

  • 26'

    Nani does well and finds Pereira but his cross is behind Ronaldo. Two more balls come into the box before Casillas claims.

  • 25'

    Sublime control from Iniesta as he kills a looping ball dead, then wins a free kick off Pereira.

  • 24'

    Moutinho knocks the ball down for Ronaldo after a long ball is cleared to him, but his left-foot volley on the turn is high and wide.

  • 23'

    Arbeloa fouls Coentrao in his own half this time. Del Bosque comes off the bench and has a little moan at the ref.

  • 22'

    Pique launches a rare long ball but Alves nods clear. Spain have the option to do that with Negredo up there tonight.

  • 20'

    Promising signs for Portugal in the opening stages though. No chances but signs they can exploit the flanks to good effect.

  • 19'

    Great work from Pereira as he feeds Nani down the right, the winger cuts inside Ramos and goes down but the referee waves play on. Probably just about the right call I think. Not much contact, even though Ramos tried to block his path.

  • 18'

    Another aerial battle brings a free kick with it. Since when was it a crime to challenge for a header Mr Referee?

  • 17'

    But despite the palpable excitement in the crowd as he steps up to take it .... Ronaldo smacks it right into the two-man wall. Now Portugal win a corner.

  • 16'

    Ronaldo buys a free kick by hitting the turf in the presence of Pique and Arbeloa. He is over the ball, left hand side of the penalty spot.

  • 15'

    Arbeloa again fouls Coentrao as he tries to nudge past his Real Madrid team-mate.

  • 14'

    Coentrao lumps a ball over the top for Ronaldo after he got a run on Arbeloa but Casillas was out.

  • 13'

    First real run for Ronaldo as he streaks down the left. Four players track him but he still gets a cross in that Casillas claims just before Almeida.

  • 12'

    Loose pass from Iniesta as Alonso fired the ball into him. Negredo hardly getting a kick so far but Spain becoming dominant.

  • 11'

    Portugal are forced back by Spain's pressing as Pepe passes to his goalkeeper and Patricio then knocks the ball out of play on the right for no discernible reason.

  • 10'

    Now Iniesta fancies a crack himself as Spain charge on Portugal's penalty area again. His effort is always rising though.

  • 9'

    Big chance for Arbeloa as the ball broke to him on the edge of the area, he side-foots inches over the bar after Inesita had broken into the box thanks to Alba's cute touch.

  • 8'

    It is also high risk because if Spain get past that initial phase of pressing then they could really hurt their opponents.

  • 7'

    Portugal are sitting in shape and allowing Spain's defenders to have the ball but as soon as it gets into their half they are pressing with Barcelona-like speed. Interesting tactics.

  • 6'

    Excellent flick from Iniesta as Alba runs onto it from the throw, Pepe is across and taking no prisoners with a fierce sliding challenge.

  • 5'

    A poor piece of control from Nani as the ball is spread wide. Promising start for Paulo Bento's side though, denying Spain the ball so far.

  • 4'

    Silva feeds Negredo but Pepe tracked him all the way and got an important foot on the ball. Then Pique wins a header fair and square and is penalised. Crazy.

  • 3'

    Arbeloa fouls Coentrao as he tries to burst down the right flank and into Portugal's half.

  • 2'

    Veloso's speculative shot takes a nick and Portugal have a corner that Casillas flaps at towards his back post. Another corner.

  • 1'

    KICK OFF - we are under way in Donetsk...

  •  

    After the anthems and before the game both captains, Ronaldo and Casillas, read a small tribute to diversity in the game of football to the crowd - a response to the racism that has sadly been apparent in the tournament so far.

  •  

    After the anthems and before the game both captains, Ronaldo and Casillas, read a small tribute to diversity in the game of football to the crowd - a response to the racism that has sadly been apparent in the tournament so far.

  •  

    Two stats to treat you with as the anthems fire up. Portugal have lost just two of their last 12 meetings with Spain, yet Alvaro Negredo has won every single game he's played in for the national team. He's scored six times for Spain in those 11 games too.

  •  

    So, how do we see this one developing? Clearly, Spain will see most of the ball but for me it is all about how compact Portugal can stay at the back and how quickly then can get supply to Ronaldo and Nani. Spain are susceptible on the flanks and that is where Paulo Bento's side can prosper.

  •  

    After you've negotiated your way through those two excellent pieces, move onto the fans' view. Eduardo Alvarez plays the 'reverse jinx' card and explains why Portugal will beat Spain and Tom Kundert says there is a palpable feeling that Portugal could be on the cusp of a historic first trophy.

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  •  

    Ronaldo has scored three times at the tournament and has hit the woodwork four times, is one of only two people to be involved in over half his team's shots and is second only to UEFA president Michel Platini in terms of goals and assist at the Euros. Not bad he?

  •  

    Try as one might it is impossible not to focus on Ronaldo as tonight's most pivotal figure. Many pundits will have you believe Portugal can't win if he doesn't fire, and they might be right. Lucky for Portugal then, that he is most definitely "el fuego".

  •  

    As for Portugal, they also make only one change from the team that beat Czech Republic, and just like Spain it is up front as Hugo Almeida replaces the injured Helder Postiga.

  •  

    The team news is filtering through and the undoubted top line is that Alvaro Negredo is starting for Spain. He has played just one solitary minute of this tournament so far but he gets his chance to shine. Cesc Fabregas drops to the bench.

  •  

    The omens aren't good for Portugal. Spain are undefeated their last 18 competitive games and haven't lost any of their four semi-finals at a major tournament. Portugal, meanwhile, have won just one of five semis. But, and there is a big but, the last time these two met was in a friendly in 2010, which Portugal won 4-0.

  •  

    Right, let us begin the build up to a seismic semi-final, with me Chris Murphy. Spain's relentless march towards a record third successive major tournament continues in earnest. But can Iberian neighbours Portugal, lead by Cristiano Ronaldo, halt them in their tracks?

  •  


    It is Portugal v Spain in the Euro 2012 semi-final with these two individuals certain to be key to either side's chances. To get you in the mood for an Iberian showdown, have a read of our match preview.