Euro 2012 Quarter-Final: Spain 2-0 France | inside World Soccer

Xabi Alonso scored a brace in his 100th appearance to lead Spain to a comfortable 2-0 win over France in Donetsk and into the semi-finals of Euro 2012.

Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso heads in the opening goal past France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris
Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso heads in the opening goal past France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris

Photo: Getty Images

Considering this was a Euro 2012 quarter-final, it was a limp display from Laurent Blanc's side and as a result the world and European champions rarely had to get into full stride.

Vicente del Bosque's men were content to contain and did so brilliantly as they completely neutralised the French threat.

And the Spaniards broke the deadlock in the 19th minute as Alonso ghosted into France's box to expertly head Jordi Alba's clipped cross on the overlap into the ground and past Hugo Lloris.

Despite an improved performance in the second half France failed to find a breakthrough and received a sucker-punch in stoppage time.

Anthony Réveillère clumsily upended substitute Pedro inside the area and Alonso stepped up and converted from 12 yards, sending Lloris the wrong way.

Spain will now continue the defense of their European Championship crown when they play Portugal in Donetsk on Wednesday.

Lineups:

Spain: Iker Casillas; Álvaro Arbeloa, Gerard Piqué, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba; Xavi, Sergio Busquets, Xabi Alonso; David Silva (Pedro, 65), Cesc Fàbregas (Fernando Torres, 67), Andrés Iniesta (Santi Cazorla, 84)

France: Hugo Lloris; Anthony Réveillère, Adil Rami, Laurent Koscielny, Gaël Clichy; Yann M'Vila (Olivier Giroud, 79); Mathieu Debuchy (Jérémy Ménez, 65), Yohan Cabaye, Florent Malouda (Samir Nasri, 65), Franck Ribéry; Karim Benzema



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