Wonderkid Yamal on target as Spain edge France 2-1 to reach Euro 2024 final

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Wed, 10 Jul 2024 - 09:37 GMT

BY

Wed, 10 Jul 2024 - 09:37 GMT

MUNICH, GERMANY, July 9 (Reuters) - Spain struck twice in five minutes in a pulsating first half to secure a 2-1 comeback win over France on Tuesday as a record-breaking goal from teenager Lamine Yamal and a Dani Olmo effort propelled them into the Euro 2024 final.
 
The 16-year-old Yamal cancelled out Randal Kolo Muani's opener with a sublime shot in the 21st minute to become the youngest scorer in a Euro or World Cup before Olmo added another in the 25th for his third goal in the knockout stage.
 
The Spaniards, who have won every game of the tournament so far, confirmed their favourites tag with another display of attacking football, especially in the first half, that is a far cry from the tiki-taka passing game that earned them world and European titles more than a decade ago.
 
"I'm very happy to have made it to the final," said man-of-the-match Yamal. "Now the most important thing is to win it. We were in a difficult moment, you wouldn't expect a goal so soon."
 
"I wanted to put it in where it went in, and I'm very happy. I'm happy and content with the victory. I want to win, win and win," added the teenager.
 
They will now face the winners of Wednesday's match between England and Netherlands in the final in Berlin on Sunday as they hunt a record-breaking fourth European crown.
 
It was a anti-climactic end to France's tournament, although the 2022 World Cup finalists never lived up to expectations in Germany with a very low conversion rate that carried into the semi-final.
 
"Spain proved tonight that they are a very good team. We were fortunate to open the scoring, but they caused us problems because they were superior in terms of control," said France coach Didier Deschamps.
 
"Tonight they showed all their qualities. We were... perhaps a little less fresh, which led to some technical waste, particularly in the build-up of the game. We didn't push forward often enough."
 
Spain had an early chance when Yamal, the youngest player to feature in a World Cup or Euro semi-final, floated a cross to the far post but Fabian Ruiz headed over the bar.
 

FRANCE GOAL

 

France did better from an almost identical move in the ninth minute with Kylian Mbappe, playing without a mask after breaking his nose earlier in the tournament, crossing for Kolo Muani to head in their first goal from open play at Euro 2024.
 
But the Spaniards, who were missing suspended Dani Carvajal and Robin Le Normand as well as injured Pedri, quickly turned the game around.
 
Yamal curled a stunning left-footed effort from 25 metres in off the post to break another record held by Brazil great Pele, as the youngest scorer in a Euro or World Cup.
 
Before France had any time to recover Olmo completed their lightning-quick comeback in the 25th with a shot that was deflected in by France's Jules Kounde.
 
France, who had only conceded one goal in their previous five games in the tournament, upped the tempo after the break and had chances through Mbappe and Theo Hernandez.
 
But they could not carve out an equaliser with Spain, pulling back and successfully soaking up the pressure.

 

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