Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Euro 2012: Spain Edge Portugal on Pens for 3rd-Straight Euro Final
Spain's Cesc Fabregas scores a decisive penalty during the penalty shootout of the Euro 2012 match against Portugal on June 27, 2012
DONETSK, June 27 (RIA Novosti)
Spain reached a third-successive European championship final on Thursday, beating a defiant Portugal 4-2 on penalties after their Euro 2012 quarterfinal ended goalless after extra time.
Cesc Fabregas scored the winning penalty off the post to send Spain through after Portugal's Bruno Alves had hit the crossbar.
Sunday's final in Kiev is against Germany or Italy, who play in Warsaw on Thursday.
Spain began their second title defense with a cagey 1-1 draw against Italy before crushing Ireland 4-0 and surviving a couple of scares to overcome a spirited Croatia 1-0.
Two goals from Xabi Alonso brought a 2-0 victory over France in the quarterfinal.
Portugal started their campaign with a narrow 1-0 defeat to Germany in Group B, but scraped through as runners up thanks to equally closely fought victories over Denmark, 3-2, and the Netherlands 2-1.
Ronaldo's 79th-minute header gave the 2004 finalists a 1-0 win over the Czech Republic in the quarterfinal.
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