Spain reach Euro 2012 final
Former Arsenal star Cesc Fabregas scored the winning spot-kick as Spain reached the final of Euro 2012.
It was tough on Portugal who matched their much-praised Iberian rivals for much of the 120 minutes of a tense, hard-fought but goalless match.
But the shoot-out victory put defending champions Spain into the final and meant Vicente del Bosque’s side became only the second team to reach three successive major international finals, after West Germany in the 1970s.
It was a match of few chances, but Portugal gained confidence from the way they unsettled Spain in the first half.
However, for all the endeavour of Manchester United’s Nani and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese did not seriously threaten Iker Casillas’s goal.
The defending champions enjoyed more possession in the second half and into extra-time – and Rui Patricio made a great save from Andres Iniesta to keep the scores level.
Both Xabi Alonso and Joao Moutinho missed their opening penalty kicks in the shoot-out, but Iniesta and Gerard Pique for Spain and Pepe and Nani for Portugal netted.
Sergio Ramos then produced a delightful chipped finish from his spot-kick and Bruno Alves struck the bar to give Fabregas the chance to fire Spain into the final.
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