- European Championship Finals
- 27 June 2012, 7:45pm
- Donbass Arena
SPAIN WIN ON PENALTIES!The reigning champions remain on course to defend their crown after edging out their fierce rivals Portugal on penalties. Alonso missed the first spot-kick, but Moutinho and Alves both failed to score before Fabregas rolled in the winner. Portugal will feel hard done by. The decision to hold Ronaldo back until the fifth penalty backfired big time. Spain, well short of their best, are through to Sunday's final where they will play either Germany or Italy. Thanks for following our coverage.
Spain 4 Portugal 2:Fabregas scores! Spain are through to the final! The midfielder scores in off the post. Ronaldom, who was down for Portugal's fifth penalty, doesn't get to take one.
Spain 3 Portugal 2:Alves misses! The defender smacks his effort against the bar. If Spain score their next, they will reach the final.
Spain 3 Portugal 2:Ramos scores! The centre-half pulls off a 'Pirlo' by dinking it down the middle.
Spain 2 Portugal 2:Nani scores! Alves was walking up to take it, but Nani calls him back and blasts the ball high into the corner.
Spain 2 Portugal 1:Pique scores! In the corner past Rui Patricio.
Spain 1 Portugal 1:Pepe scores! He sneaks it past Casillas in the corner.
Spain 1 Portugal 0:Iniesta scores! Straight down the middle.
Spain 0 Portugal 0:Moutinho saved! Casillas keeps it out after lunging to his right. Are we going to see a goal tonight?
Spain 0 Portugal 0:Alonso saved! Rui Patricio dives to his left and tips it away.
Portugal have been involved in two penalty shoot-outs in major tournaments and have a perfect record. However, both those wins came against England so that doesn't tell us too much! Will anyone have the bottle to pull a 'Pirlo' out of the bag? Spain will take first...
END OF EXTRA TIME:Still nothing to separate the sides after 120 minutes. Spain were much more positive in extra time, but they couldn't find a way through which means a penalty shoot-out will decide which team reaches the Euro 2012 final. Stay tuned.
ET 28 mins:Alba, who has probably been the best player on the field, doubles up again as a left winger and sends in a cross which is hooked away by Pepe.
ET 25 mins:Fabregas lifts a though ball over the top for Pedro who at first glance looks like he's got a clean run through on goal. However, Portugal get back in numbers quickly and Coentrao manages to nick the ball clear. Pedro just couldn't get away.
ET 24 mins:Jose Mourinho won't like this one as Alonso clatters his Real team-mate Ronaldo with a very late challenge. Yellow card for the midfielder.
ET 23 mins:Final sub for Portugal as Meireles is replaced by Varela.
ET 21 mins:Another chance in extra time for Spain. Navas shows some nifty footwork inside the box before shooting across goal, but Rui Patricio gets down to block the attempt with his outstretched right hand. The loose ball comes off Pepe's foot and is then smothered by the keeper with Spain claiming a back-pass, but the referee doesn't think it was deliberate.
ET 19 mins:Ramos uses his strength to knock Ronaldo off the ball. It's a fair challenge, but Ronaldo remains on the deck and forces the referee to pause the game. He just needs a breather.
ET 17 mins:Coentrao attacks down the Portugal left and fires in a cross, but Ramos gets in front of Ronaldo to hack clear.
ET 16 mins:Fresh legs in the Portuguese midfield as Custodio replaces Veloso.
ET 15 mins:Pedro is fouled about 30 yards from the Portugal goal. Ramos takes the free-kick and rifles it just over the bar. Decent effort by the defender. The whistle goes for half-time in extra time. A quick change of sides and we go again.
ET 14 mins:So close to the deadlock being broken! Alba dances his way into the box and dinks a cross over for an unmarked Iniesta, but his half-volley from eight yards out is palmed wide by Rui Patricio. Brilliant save. At long last, Spain are starting to dominate.
ET 12 mins:Spain win a couple of corners but you get the feeling that they don't actually want them because they're always played short and never just whipped into the centre.
ET 9 mins:The game is stopped with another Spanish player down. Pedro was flattened by Pepe after the Portuguese defender had headed clear a Fabregas cross. He just needs a squirt of water.
ET 6 mins:Pedro is again picked out down the left and this time manages to dig out a cross. The ball is half-cleared to Iniesta whose driven shot from the edge of the box is blocked by a white shirt.
ET 4 mins:Alonso finds Pedro with a peach of a pass down Spain's left, but Portugal right-back Joao Pereira makes a well-timed tackle as the attack breaks down.
ET 3 mins:Oliveria catches Busquets with a knee in the back and the Barcelona holding midfielder needs some medical attention. Spain have used all three subs, while Portugal have two remaining.
ET 1 min:The Portuguese players look fired up as Spain get extra time underway.
END OF 90 MINS:Still no breakthrough so we head to extra time. There's been one shot on target in the whole match. Portugal will be very happy because they've unsettled the Spanish from the first minute, but Ronaldo had a great chance to take his side through to the final a few moments ago. Don't go anywhere.
90+3 mins:Veloso is the eighth player to receive a yellow card for a late tackle on Alba.
90+2 mins:Spain force a corner but the ball ends up going all the way back to Casillas. Spain playing for penalties?!
90 mins:Chance for Portugal to win it! Alonso's free-kick is cleared and the Portuguese are pouring forward. Meireles has options both sides and picks out Ronaldo to his left, but the Real Madrid man skies his shot with his weaker left foot. Three minutes added on.
87 mins:Third sub for Spain and Torres isn't going to be happy because Pedro is the final replacement with Xavi making way.
86 mins:Portugal's back four are now all on a yellow card after Bruno Alves is booked for a foul on Fabregas.
84 mins:This time Ronaldo uses the side of his right foot, but he curls his effort over the bar. He's better than that.
83 mins:Ronaldo's free-kick is blocked by the wall, but the referee awards another to Portugal for handball against Arbeloa who is booked. This is a lot closer...
82 mins:Portugal launch a break after Navas's poor cross from the right is easily blocked. Ronaldo comes forward and is taken out by his Real Madrid team-mate Alonso, about 30 yards from Spain's goal.
81 mins:Portugal make their first sub and it's a straight swap up top as Benfica striker Oliveira replaces Almeida.
80 mins:Ramos is penalised for a foul on Nani on the Portugal right-hand side, but Veloso curls the set-piece straight to an unchallenged Casillas.
76 mins:Positive play from Nani who darts away from a few red shirts in the corner and bends in a cross which deflects behind. The Portugal corner is taken short before being delivered into the middle, but Casillas takes care of the threat.
72 mins:Ronaldo takes five strides back, runs up and unleashes a dipping shot past the wall but a few feet over the bar.
71 mins:Ronaldo is brought down by Arbeloa about 30 yards from the Spanish goal. Danger here...
68 mins:Half-chance for Spain as Xavi finds space 25 yards from goal but he drills his shot straight at Rui Patricio. That's Spain's first effort on target.
67 mins:Alonso spots Rui Patricio off his line and goes for one of his halfway line specials but his ambitious effort is wide of the target.
65 mins:The referee has been very busy in this second half as he books Joao Pereira for pulling down Fabregas on the edge of the box down the left. Xavi fizzes the free-kick into the danger zone but Almedia heads clear.
62 mins:Another yellow card is dished out as Pepe collides with Alonso when challenging for a high ball. Looked a bit harsh. I think the referee is accusing Pepe of leading with his elbow.
61 mins:Second change for Spain. Still no sign of Torres, though, as Navas replaces Silva. Navas came off the bench to score the winner against Croatia in the group stages.
60 mins:Ronaldo goes down under a challenge from Ramos inside the Spain area, but it's not even close to being a penalty. Ronaldo was just muscled off the ball. Busquets has said something to the referee in the aftermath and ends up getting booked. I would guess he was accusing Ronaldo of diving.
58 mins:Almeida blasts another effort off target, this time shooting from an impossible angle after a through ball by Ronaldo.
57 mins:Almedia leads a Portugal attack. He has Ronaldo on the left and Nani on the right, but goes for glory and lashes his shot over the bar from 25 yards. I suppose his team-mates would have done exactly the same.
54 mins:Now Del Bosque makes his first sub and unsurprisingly it's Negredo who is taken off. The Sevilla striker has barely touched the ball this evening, although he hasn't had much assistance. Fabregas is preferred to Torres so it will be a slight change in shape. The 'false 9', 4-6-0, or whatever you want to call it.
51 mins:Better from Spain as Arbeloa plays a one-two down the right with Silva before sending in a cross which is headed behind by Joao Pereira. Spain's first corner of the semi-final is taken short, but Portugal clear their lines when the ball arrives in the box.
49 mins:Nani whips in a teasing cross from the right towards Almeida, but Pique climbs well to head clear before Silva tracks back to dispossess Ronaldo.
46 mins:Portugal get this semi-final back underway. Del Bosque is keeping faith with the starting XI, despite the below-par performance in the first half.
HALF-TIME:Portugal will be delighted with that first half. While they haven't created any clear chances, Ronaldo and Nani have looked threatening and they haven't let Spain settle. For the first time in this tournament, the reigning champions are struggling to keep possession with Negredo isolated on his own up front. I wouldn't be surprised to see Spain make a change during the break. Join us for the second half soon.
45 mins:Coentrao joins Ramos in the book for saying something naughty to the assistant referee. One minute added on.
43 mins:Pepe punts a long ball forward which Pique misreads as it flies over his head, but it's just beyond a lurking Almedia and Casillas sweeps up the danger.
40 mins:He got away with one on Nani earlier, but not this time as Ramos body-checks Ronaldo inside the Spain half and picks up a yellow card.
Mark, Leicester:"Easy Portugal win 2-0 you can tell they want it more then Spain."
36 mins:Nani is back on the pitch after some magic sponge treatment. Portugal have done an excellent job in closing down their opponents with Spain lacking creativity in midfield.
35 mins:Nani needs treatment after getting a bang on the head from a Ramos challenge. He won't be down for long.
Alan Pollard, Shaftesbury:"Just one stroke of genius is going to be what will decide this match."
31 mins:Portugal win the ball in dangerous territory. It breaks for Ronaldo just outside the area and he fires a low drive just wide of the left-hand post. Casillas appeared to have it covered.
29 mins:Spain work the ball from right to left and they have a spare man over. Iniesta is unmarked and lines up a shot from the edge of the box, curling it in between a couple of defenders and just over the bar.
28 mins:Cries of handball from Portugal's players after Ramos drops to his knees to block a cross, but the ball appeared to strike his chest. The ref's not interested.
26 mins:Portugal are asking questions of this Spanish defence. Nani feeds an overlapping Joao Pereira who swings in a cross which is flicked clear by Pique. Portugal are definitely targeting the full-backs.
23 mins:So far so good for Portugal. Spain have had more possession, but their rivals look threatening on the break down both sides. Ronaldo attempts an audacious half-volley on the turn after Spain fail to clear Coentrao's deep cross, but his effort from 25 yards flies well over the bar.
20 mins:Nani stretches his legs down the right wing and knocks the ball inside Ramos before being body-checked by the defender. Should be a free-kick, but the referee tells Nani to get back to his feet. The Portuguese bench are furious. Nani did go down quite easily, but Ramos definitely stepped across the Manchester United wide man.
17 mins:Of course, there's no such thing as a tight angle when Ronaldo's standing over the ball, but his free-kick cannons into the two-man wall before going out for a corner which Spain clear.
16 mins:More joy for Ronaldo down Portugal's left as he's sandwiched by Pique and Arbeloa and wins a free-kick on the edge of the box. The angle, though, looks to tight to have a shot.
13 mins:Now here's Ronaldo as he races down the left and gets a yard on Pique before clipping in a dangerous cross which Casillas claims well under pressure from a leaping Nani.
11 mins:Spain are now starting to take control with Iniesta and Alonso enjoying plenty of possession. The full-backs - Arbeloa and Alba - are also making good progress down the flanks. Ronaldo has been isolated so far.
9 mins:First chance falls to one of the most unlikely player on the pitch. Iniesta squares the ball into the box from the left byline. It doesn't quite break for Negredo but rolls into the path of right-back Arbeloa who sidefoots his shot over from 16 yards.
8 mins:Alonso, Spain's two-goal hero against Les Bleus in the quarter-final, lofts a long ball over the top for Silva but it bounces through to Rui Patricio.
5 mins:Negredo's first involvement is to chase a through ball down the right after some neat passing between Silva and Iniesta, but the Spain striker loses possession. Portugal have started well.
2 mins:First chance for Pepe to make me some money as Portugal win two early corners. Casillas claws the first one behind before claiming the second with a clean catch.
0 mins:Spain get this semi-final underway, facing left to right. Who's got some bets on the go tonight? My colleague Mike Dale and I will be cock-a-hoop if Pepe scores. We cleared out out banks this morning and have a placed a £1 each on the defender to score at a whopping 16/1.
1942:Portugal's players are definitely louder than their counterparts. But then Spain's anthem doesn't have any words so they're at a slight disadvantage. As captains, Casillas and Ronaldo read out statements calling for respect from fans towards each other's diversity.
1938:The players are lining up for the anthems. Spain are wearing red, with Portugal in white. The Spanish side are wearing black armbands tonight in memory of Miki Roque and Manolo Preciado.
1930:As for Portugal, it's all about the main main. After a quiet first two games, I decided to transfer Ronaldo out of my Euro fantasy team. Idiot. He went on to destroy the Dutch and knock out the Czechs. But can he derail the reigning champions?
1915:So Negredo gets the surprise nod for Spain, making his first start of the tournament. He's only played a few minutes so far in Poland and Ukraine after coming on as a late sub against Croatia in the group stages. What do you all think about his selection? He's got a decent goalscoring record with six goals in 11 caps.
1900:Welcome to Orange's live commentary from Donetsk where neighbours Spain and Portugal do battle for a place in Sunday's Euro 2012 final. Spain coach Vincent del Bosque has reverted back to a 4-5-1 formation with Cesc Fabregas dropping to the bench. However, it's not Fernando Torres who starts, but Alvaro Negredo of Sevilla. Spain are otherwise unchanged. As expected, Portugal make one change as Hugo Almeida replaces the injured Helder Postiga in their attack.
Our man on the mic tonight is Tom Gledhill, who'll have the team news for you as soon as we get it, then live match commentary from 1945.
- European Championship Finals
- 27 June 2012, 7:45pm
- Donbass Arena
Defending champions Spain beat Portugal 4-2 on penalties to reach the Euro 2012 final after their semi-final ended 0-0 after extra time.
Cesc Fabregas converted the decisive spot-kick in Donetsk, firing his shot in off the post to send Spain through after Bruno Alves had hit the bar for Portugal.
Earlier, Cristiano Ronaldo had missed a good chance to put Portugal through in the last minute of normal time while Portugal keeper Rui Patricio made superb saves to deny Jesus Navas and Andres Iniesta in extra-time.
The Spaniards had started better, and ought to have gone ahead from their first chance in the ninth minute when Manuel Negredo pulled the ball back for Alvaro Arbeloa to fire over the bar from the edge of the box.
Andres Iniesta blazed over from long range a minute later, but Portugal threatened in the 13th minute through Ronaldo, who beat Gerard Pique down the left before crossing towards Nani, with Iker Casillas jumping to make a crucial interception.
Paulo Bento's men had clearly wrested the upper hand, suffocating the Spanish midfield and worrying their opponents through the persistent threat of Ronaldo and Nani up front.
But Spain still almost contrived the grab the lead against the run of play in the 29th minute, when Xavi's clever ball found Iniesta on the edge of the box, who rolled the ball onto his right foot before floating a shot inches over Rui Patricio's goal.
Within two minutes, Portugal had responded with an even better chance, Joao Moutinho's persistence paying off on the edge of the box as he set free Ronaldo to drill a low shot just wide of Casillas left hand post.
Portugal's control continued into the second half, with Nani almost picking out the head of Hugo Almeida from a dangerous right wing cross, and it proved enough for Vicente Del Bosque, who replaced Negredo with Fabregas up front.
Almeida wasted a good chance in the 58th minute when he fired ambitiously over the Spanish bar instead of picking out Ronaldo or Nani, who were unmarked to his left and right respectively.
Belatedly, Spain started to show signs of stirring, Xabi drilling a shot straight at Patricio from long range, but despite beginning to edge possession, chances continued to be few and far between.
Ronaldo, still terrorising the Spanish defenders at every opportunity, fired a free-kick just over from 30 yards, but a game that had started brightly drifted into a dull spell in which neither side could serve up much of a threat.
Then came a glorious chance for Ronaldo in the last minute of normal time, when a Portuguese counter-attack saw Raul Meireles feed the Real Madrid man who fired over the bar from the left side of the box.
The introduction of Pedro lent some urgency to the Spanish attack in extra-time, and his run set up a chance for Iniesta in the seventh minute of the extra half hour, but his low shot was blocked in the box.
The Portuguese were plainly tiring, and Spain had an even better chance in the 104th minute, when Jordi Alba's cross found Iniesta in front of goal but Patricio managed to flap his shot wide from six yards.
Sergio Ramos slammed a long-range free-kick just over the bar before the end of the first period of extra-time, and Ramos was soon in critical action at the other end when cutting out a Fabio Coentrao ball meant for Ronaldo.
Substitute Jesus Navas was next to get the chance to break the deadlock in the 22nd minute of extra-time, picking up a ball from Arbeloa in the box and hitting a shot which Patricio did well to save down low.
As Spain kept pressing, Pedro briefly burst clear before being caught by Fabio Coentrao, but by then there was a certain inevitability about a match that promised much but offered little heading to penalties.
Alonso had the first spot-kick saved by Patricio but Casillas evened things up by saving the first Portuguese penalty from Moutinho.
Iniesta, Pepe, Pique, Nani and Sergio Ramos all put away their penalties before Alves - who had inadvertently stepped up for the previous penalty which was eventually converted by Nani - hit the bar, leaving Fabregas to put Spain through.