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Football European Championship

Spain Joins Germany In Euro Knockout Stages

  • June 20, 2024
  • 2 min read
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Spain Joins Germany In Euro Knockout Stages

Spain secured their place in the knockout stages of the European Championship with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Italy.

The win, achieved through an own goal by Riccardo Calafiori in the second half, sees Spain join hosts Germany with a perfect record of six points from two Group B matches played at Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen.

Despite controlling the game for large stretches, Spain ultimately needed a stroke of luck to overcome a resolute Italian defense. This victory echoes their dominant performance in the 2012 Euros final, where they defeated the Azzurri 4-0.

Spain’s dominance extends beyond this tournament. They successfully defended their title in 2008 with a win over Germany, solidifying their position as the world’s best team at the time, a reign further emphasized by their 2010 World Cup victory. This period cemented their legacy as one of the greatest international sides ever.

These two sides also met in the 2012 Euros group stage, where the game ended in a 1-1 draw where Cesc Fabregas scored for Spain and Antonio Di Natale for Italy before Spain went on to win the trophy. Spain dictated the tempo with possession-based play, while Italy relied heavily on counter-attacks.

The Italians nearly conceded in the opening minutes after a lapse in concentration, but Gianluigi Donnarumma produced a spectacular save to deny Pedri. Similar opportunities followed for Spain, with Alvaro Morata creating a chance for Nico Williams who also missed another golden opportunity himself.

Spain’s relentless pressure eventually paid off in the 55th minute when Calafiori turned the ball into his own net. Williams almost doubled the lead but saw his effort rattle the crossbar, and Ayoze Pérez was denied a late goal by another fantastic save from Donnarumma.

Despite failing to capitalize on further chances, Spain deservedly emerged victorious. They displayed superior control and created more opportunities, solidifying their position as group leaders.

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Robin-Duke Madlala

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