Euro 2012 Semi-Final: Portugal 0-0 (2-4 AP) Spain | inside World Soccer

Reigning champions Spain reached the Euro 2012 final with a 4-2 penalty shootout win over Portugal following a tense semi-final in Donetsk which ended 0-0.

Spanish midfielder Cesc Fàbregas scores the winning penalty past Portuguese goalkeeper Rui Patrício
Spanish midfielder Cesc Fàbregas scores the winning penalty past Portuguese goalkeeper Rui Patrício

Photo: Getty Images

Portugal were the better side in the first half without truly threatening Iker Casillas' goal, but Spain stepped up a gear after the interval and were also clearly the stronger throughout the additional 30 minutes.

In a game of precious few clear-cut chances, Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patrício kept his side in the contest with excellent saves from Andrés Iniesta and Jesús Navas either side of the break in extra time.

Despite playing at far from their best and with chances to find the net at a premium, a total of 120 minutes failed to separate the two sides as the game ended goalless.

Both teams got off to the worst start possible in the shoothout as Patrício and Casillas both saved from Xabi Alonso and João Moutinho respectively.

Iniesta, Pepe, Gerard Piqué, Nani and Sergio Ramos all put away their penalties before Bruno Alves hit the bar to make the score 3-2 to Spain after four penalties each.

It offered Cesc Fàbregas the chance to book their spot in the final and he obliged, squeezing home his effort via the inside of the post.

Spain, who are trying to defend the European Championship crown they claimed four years ago, will next face either Germany or Italy on Sunday in Kiev.

Lineups:

Portugal: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Pepe, Bruno Alves, Fábio Coentrão; Miguel Veloso (Custódio, 105); Raul Meireles (Silvestre Varela, 113), João Moutinho; Nani, Hugo Almeida (Nélson Oliveira, 81), Cristiano Ronaldo

Spain: Iker Casillas; Álvaro Arbeloa, Gerard Piqué, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba; Xavi (Pedro, 87), Sergio Busquets, Xabi Alonso; David Silva (Jesús Navas, 61), Álvaro Negredo (Cesc Fàbregas, 54), Andrés Iniesta



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