Spain through after extra time

UEFA Euro 2024 – Quarter Finals

Spain…………..2

Germany………1

Mikel Merino’s header in extra time secured Spain a spot in the EURO 2024 semi-finals, knocking out host nation Germany.

Mikel Merino found the net late in extra time, ensuring Spain’s progression to the UEFA EURO 2024 semi-finals with a tight win over Germany in Stuttgart.

Widely anticipated as a clash between the tournament’s top two teams, the first quarter-final kicked off at a blistering pace. Pedri tested Manuel Neuer with a low shot in the opening minute but was soon replaced by Dani Olmo due to an injury.

Lamine Yamal’s low free-kick missed Neuer’s left post, and Olmo’s left-footed shot sailed over the bar as Spain sought to dominate. Kai Havertz then headed Joshua Kimmich’s cross directly at Unai Simón in Germany’s first significant chance. The energetic Nico Williams had a close-range effort saved by Neuer, who also denied a low drive from Olmo to keep the score level at halftime.

Álvaro Morata nearly broke the deadlock just after the restart, spinning past Antonio Rüdiger and firing over the bar. Six minutes into the second half, however, the deadlock was broken when Olmo guided a low, first-time shot beyond Neuer from Yamal’s pass. This goal led Germany’s coach Julian Nagelsmann to bring on striker Niclas Füllkrug, who soon sent a header over the bar.

Dani Carvajal made a brilliant sliding block to deny Florian Wirtz as Nagelsmann’s side threw caution to the wind in the closing stages of normal time. Füllkrug then hit the post with a low cross from Wirtz, and Havertz’s lob narrowly missed Unai Simón’s goal. Yet Germany’s late pressure paid off when Wirtz struck a low shot in off the far post to force extra time.

The first period of extra time was evenly balanced. Both teams had chances to take the lead, with Mikel Oyarzabal’s fierce long-range shot going wide and Wirtz missing narrowly at the other end. Unai Simón saved Füllkrug’s well-placed header but Merino settled this gripping contest, as La Roja held firm despite Carvajal’s late red card.

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Line-ups

Spain: Unai Simón; Carvajal, Le Normand (Nacho 46), Laporte, Cucurella; Pedri (Olmo 8), Rodri, Fabián Ruiz (Joselu 102); Yamal (Ferran Torres 63), Morata (Oyarzabal 80), Williams (Merino 80)

Germany: Neuer; Kimmich, Rüdiger, Tah (Müller 80), Raum (Mittelstädt 57); Can (Andrich 46), Kroos; Musiala, Gündoğan (Füllkrug 57), Sané (Wirtz 46); Havertz (Anton 91)

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