Spain v France, a knockout clash which usually leads to Euro triumph

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Tue, 09 Jul 2024 - 07:42 GMT

BY

Tue, 09 Jul 2024 - 07:42 GMT

July 8 (Reuters) - Spain and France meet in the Euro 2024 semi-final on Tuesday, and in all three previous knockout stage games between them at the tournament, the winners have gone on to become European champions.
 
Despite clashing for the first time in 1922, their first competitive meeting arrived over 60 years later when after 19 friendly games, they both reached the 1984 Euro final.
 
Michel Platini had scored eight goals in France's four games on the way to the final, including two hat-tricks, and his free kick broke the deadlock against Spain, thanks to a goalkeeping disaster.
 
After a scoreless first half, France were awarded a free kick just outside the area 12 minutes after the break. Platini stepped up and curled his low effort around the Spanish wall but his shot never looked like finding the net.
 
Luis Arconada, Spain's keeper and captain, was covering that side of the goal and appeared to catch the strike comfortably but somehow let the ball squirm out of his grasp as he hit the ground and watched in despair as it rolled slowly over the line.
 
France' Yvon Le Roux became the first player to be sent off in a Euro final five minutes from time, but Spanish hopes of a comeback were dashed in stoppage time when Bruno Bellone made it 2-0.
 
Platini lifted the trophy, France's first major tournament win, and his record of nine goals in a single tournament still stands. The sides clashed again at the knockout stage when they met in Bruges for the quarter-final of Euro 2000.
 
The French came in as World Cup holders, and once again it was a free kick which put them ahead, but they didn't need a goalkeeper howler this time as Zinedine Zidane whipped his shot into the top corner.
Spain equalised with a penalty, but Youri Djorkaeff netted the winner before halftime, and France, captained by current manager Didier Deschamps, went on to win the tournament with David Trezeguet's golden goal in the final against Italy.
 
The Spanish finally claimed their first competitive win over France at Euro 2012.
 
This time it was Spain who came into the tournament as not only world champions, but also defending their Euros title won in 2008.
 
Xabi Alonso, earning his 100th cap, was the difference in Donetsk with the midfielder scoring both goals in Spain's 2-0 win over France and they went on to retain their title in style with a 4-0 hammering of Italy in the final.
 
After coming through what was seen as the tougher side of the draw in Euro 2024, the winner of their tie in Munich will be fancied to lift the trophy in Berlin on Sunday when they will take on the winners of England and the Netherlands who play on Wednesday.
 
 

 

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