Spain 2-1 France: Yamal Worldie Helps La Roja To EURO Final

    Luis de la Fuente’s sensational Spain came out on top in their heavyweight showdown with Didier Deschamps’ France in the first 2024 European Championship (EURO 2024) semi-final on Tuesday night (July 9). Save for a brief spell at the beginning, La Roja looked more settled than Les Bleus and came away with a 2-1 victory. They will face either the Netherlands or England in the final in Berlin on Sunday, July 15.

    De La Fuente’s Spain came into Tuesday’s semi-final in blistering form. Not only were they the only team to win all five of their matches in EURO 2024, but they had beaten arguably the second-best team in the competition, Germany, in the previous round. Deschamps’ France, meanwhile, had looked shy in front of goal, scoring thrice in their five matches, with none of their goals coming from open play.

    Spain Secure Comeback Win Over Might France

    Spain, as expected, started the game on the front foot. Five minutes into the game, Lamine Yamal received the ball on the right and sent a cross into the area with his left foot. Spain’s leading scorer, Fabian Ruiz, got on the end of it but could not time his jump and sent it well above the crossbar for a goal kick. Three minutes after Spain squandered their first goalscoring opportunity, France claimed their first goal from open play in EURO 2024. Kylian Mbappe, playing without a mask after three games, sent a peach of a cross into the Spanish box. Randal Kolo Muani arrived at the far post to nod the ball in from close range.

    Spain were in a state of daze after conceding the opener, but they did not take long to return the favor. La Roja’s boy extraordinaire, Yamal, picked the ball around 30 yards away from goal, shuffled it onto his left foot, and dispatched an inswinging curler. The ball glided into the inside of the top-left post before nestling into the back of the French net.

    Just as France were recovering, Spain struck again, this time through the ever-reliable Dani Olmo. The midfielder delicately brought the ball in control before firing toward Mike Maignan’s goal. Jules Kounde stuck out his leg to prevent his effort, but instead, the ball cannoned off it to crash into the French goal.

    France came close to scoring an equalizer in the 76th minute when Eduardo Camavinga laid the ball off for Theo Hernandez on the edge of the area. The full-back, however, could not make the right contact, and sent the ball crashing into the stands.

    Lamine Yamal Outshines Kylian Mbappe

    Spain’s 16-year-old winger Yamal went against 2018 FIFA World Cup winner Mbappe in the biggest match of his career on Tuesday night. He needed to produce something special to outshine the Frenchman, and it is safe to say, he passed the test with flying colors. With his wondergoal in the 21st minute, Yamal became a part of folklore. He became not only the youngest-ever goalscorer in EURO history but also the youngest-ever player to score in the semi-finals of a major cup competition.

    In addition to scoring the goal-of-the-tournament contender, Yamal contributed with 23 accurate passes, created two chances, made four recoveries, and won five duels.

    Mbappe’s assist for Kolo Muani was sensational as well, but it was the most we saw from Mbappe at the Allianz Arena. He was second-best in five of six ground duels, lost possession twice, and had the least touches (29) of any outfield player to complete the match.

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