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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Spain register comeback win over France to reach final


 Spain secured their place in the Euro 2024 final with a thrilling 2-1 comeback victory over France on Wednesday IST. Young sensation Lamine Yamal and Dani Olmo were the heroes of the night, scoring quickfire goals to overturn an early deficit.

16-year-old Yamal etched his name into the history books as the youngest goalscorer in the Euros, showcasing his prodigious talent on the grand stage.

Spain began the match on the front foot, creating the first clear opportunity within the opening five minutes when Fabian Ruiz headed over from close range.

Despite Spain’s bright start, it was France who drew first blood. In the 9th minute, Kylian Mbappe’s exquisite in-swinging cross found Randal Kolo Muani, who headed home to give France the lead. It was France’s first goal from open play in the tournament, highlighting their efficiency.

Relentless in their pursuit of an equaliser, Spain faced a well-drilled French defense that stood firm initially. However, their persistence paid off in the 21st minute. Yamal, displaying maturity beyond his years, curled a stunning shot into the top corner, leaving the French goalkeeper with no chance.

The momentum firmly with them, Spain struck again just four minutes later. Dani Olmo weaved through the French defense with a dazzling run before calmly slotting the ball into the net, turning the game on its head.

The second half saw France, trailing for the first time in the competition, launch a series of attacks to find a way back. Spain, however, adopted a resolute defensive stance, absorbing the pressure. Aurelien Tchouameni’s header was comfortably saved by Unai Simon, who was also alert to palm away a dangerous cross from Ousmane Dembele.

In the dying minutes, both teams had chances, with Mbappe and Yamal coming close from the edge of the area. But Spain’s defense held firm, ensuring their progression to the final, where they will face the winner of the England versus Netherlands semifinal.

“We managed to take the lead, which was fantastic, but Spain played smarter and better. We pushed until the final whistle,” remarked France coach Didier Deschamps.

Spain now looks forward to the final, brimming with confidence after a dramatic and hard-fought victory. UNI BDN AKS

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