skip to content

  • Date:27 Jun 2012
  • Kick-off:19:45
  • Venue:Donbass Arena - Donetsk
Spain win 2-4 on penalties

Live Commentary


Hearts in mouths for Spain as Fabregas' penalty hits the inside of the post but rebounds into the opposite corner. Cue Spanish celebrations.


Fabregas scores - Spain win 4-2 on penalties!


Alves misses - 3-2 to Spain after four penalties each


Ramos scores - 3-2


Nani scores - 2-2 after three penalties each


Pique scores - 2-1


Pepe scores - 1-1 after two penalties each


Iniesta scores - 1-0


Moutinho misses - 0-0 after one penalty each


Alonso misses - 0-0


Spain are going to take the first kick, and it's Xabi Alonso.


Full-time ET: Portugal 0-0 Spain - the match goes to penalties.


Arbeloa gets to the byline and cuts the ball back towards Fabregas, but once again the Portugal defence makes an intervention and clears.


Now Pedro cuts in from the left and looks to shoot, but Custodio is there to make the block at the vital time.


Jordi Alba careers down the left and crosses but Pepe is there to clear the danger for Portugal.


Spain are desperate not to let this go to penalties, whereas Portugal are clinging on to take it to penalties.


Brilliant play between Iniesta and Pedro on the left gets Spain in behind the Portugal defence, but the attack is agonisingly halted by the offside flag.


Navas bursts down the right for Spain and crosses towards Fabregas, but in trying to get to the ball the Barcelona man commits a foul and eases the pressure on Portugal.


Chance for Spain as Fabregas sends Pedro through on goal, but Coentrao recovered brilliantly and was able to make a challenge.


Yellow card for Alonso for a late, late challenge on Ronaldo. There was no malice in it, though.


Final change for Portugal as Silvestre Varela replaces Meireles.


Chance for Spain as Navas works his way into a shooting position on the right and draws a save from Patricio with a low shot, but there were no Spanish shirts to follow up the spilled ball and the goalkeeper was able to claim it at the second attempt.


Spain are trying to go for Portugal's jugular now, while Portugal are playing for time by clearing high up field and trying to win free-kicks at every challenge.


Portugal break down the left after Coentrao robs Fabgreas off possession and then crosses for Ronaldo, but danger was cut out by Ramos.


We're back under way, and Spain are straight away back on the ball.


That was a tremendous chance for Iniesta. The ball was squared to him and he shot right-footed in his stride, only to be denied by an outstanding reflex save from Rui Patricio.


Half-time ET: Portugal 0-0 Spain


Ramos rockets a brilliant right-footed free-kick from an angle 25 yards out narrowly over. Fine effort.


Portugal are now looking desperately tired and Spain completely controlling the game now isn't helping matters.


Fantastic save from Patricio to deny a point-blank shot from Iniesta after a ball in from Jordi Alba on the left. Earlier, Navas had been slipped in and scooped a right-footed shot hopelessly wide. Portugal are all of a sudden on the ropes.


Portugal seem to have lost all the energy which made them such a force in the first half. Spain are consequently controlling this first period of extra-time, without creating any real chances.


Ronaldo threatens down the left for Portugal but for once his control eludes him and Pique seizes the chance to halt his progress with a blockbusting tackle. Great defending.


Play is constantly being slowed down by niggly little fouls. The referee's whistle has had a negative effect on the flow of this game.


Chance for Spain as Pepe clears Pedro's cross from the left straight to Iniesta, who drives low at goal but sees his effort blocked. Spain are enjoying the better off the possession so far in extra-time.


It's been a fairly hesistant, slow-paced start to extra-time. It's likely to need a moment of brilliance or, at the other end of the scale, a lapse in concentration to settle this one before penalties.


Spain were much improved in the second half but as the game wore, both teams increasingly hesitant to commit men forward and extra-time seemed an inevitability.


Full-time: Portugal 0-0 Spain


Another yellow card for Portugal, their fifth, as Veloso is booked for an over-aggressive challenge on Jordi Alba.


We're into three minutes of added time. Spain attack on the right and win a corner, but the ball in is massively overhit and the opportunity is lost.


Portugal have an advatange over Spain having had two extra days of rest going into this game, but neither team are showing obvious signs of fatigue just yet.


Spain get us back under way in extra-time. The question is whether either team will commit fully to attacking? If not, we're could be penalties-bound.


Great chance for Portugal! They break four on two, Meireles plays in Ronaldo on the left, but of all people the Real Madrid man blazes his shot high and wide. That was Portugal's big chance.


Spain make their final change, replacing Xavi with Pedro.


Another yellow card, now for Alves for a late foul on Fabregas.


But Ronaldo scoops his effort comfortably over the bar. That would have suited a more delicate ball-striker such as Moutinho.


His effort is blocked by the wall, but by the hands of Arbeloa, who is booked. Ronaldo again steps over a free-kick now 25 yards out.


But then Ronaldo steps up the pace, surges forward and draws a foul from Alonso. Another chance for him to shoot at goal.


The game has lost a lot of it's edge now, with both teams willing to probe away patiently without ever going for the jugular. One goal would win it.


Substitution for Portugal, who replace the wayward Almeida with Nelson Oliveira.


Portugal get a free-kick in a crossing position on the right but Veloso plants it straight into the hands of Casillas. Another promising opportunity missed.


Fabregas collects the ball in a promising position 25 yards out but rather than spread it wide, he optimistically fires high over the bar. Wasted opportunity.


It's getting to the stage now where neither team seems to be overly keen to commit too many players forward this late in the game. It looks to be heading to extra-time.


But Ronaldo sends the free-kick narrowly over the bar. Decent effort.


Free-kick for Portugal in a central position 30 yards out after Arbeloa cut across the in-flight Ronaldo and brought him down. Another crude foul.


A far more realistic chance for Spain now as Xavi drives forward with options either side, but instead shoots powerfully from the edge of the box and straight at Rui Patricio. At the other end, Almeida has once again shot wide from an angle.


Alonso tries one of his trademark shots from inside his own half, but his effort is way off target.


Yet another yellow card, deservedly for Pereira for pulling down Fabregas, who would have been through on goal after being played through by Iniesta. Better invention from Spain.


Those substitutions and bookings have disrupted the flow of the game, which has turned into a bit of a chess match now. Both teams are exchanging spells of possession and are trying to pass their way around the other.


Another yellow card, this time for Pepe for an overzealous aerial challenge on his Real Madrid team-mate Alonso.


Change for Spain as Jesus Navas is sent on for Silva.


Ronaldo goes down under a challenge from Ramos inside the box, but he went to ground too easily and the referee rightly wasn't interested. Busquets was booked in the aftermath.


And now Ronaldo slips Almeida through down the left channel and darts into the box for the return ball, but once again Almeida goes for goal, only to shoot rashly wide.


Portugal break three on three with Almeida on the ball centrally, Nani to his right and Ronaldo to his left, but the Besiktas striker goes for goal and his shot is high and wide. Poor choice.


Spain are pressing much better in the second half and now it's Portugal's turn to be forced out of possession.


Fabregas replaces the inneffective Negredo, who contributed hardly anything.


But then Portugal hit straight back with a slick passing move of their own which culminates with Pereira having a cross from the right blocked. The second half has been a possession duel so far. Fabregas is getting ready to come on for Spain.


Spain have just enjoyed their best spell of the whole game, passing the ball through and past Portugal like they have done so against so many teams in the past five years or so. More encouraging signs for Spain.


Now it's Spain's turn to knock the ball around defence but no fewer than four Portugal players are hunting them down and although Spain manage to move upfield, they're forced to concede possession a few passes later.


And we're back under way, with Portugal kicking off and, unlike Spain at the start of the first half, keeping hold of the ball in order to settle into an early rhythm.


Portugal have been much the better side so far. Their pressing has been intense, immediate and also high up the pitch, so Spain haven't been able to build from the back as they like to. They've also been lively and energetic on the attack. Del Bosque's side, meanwhile, have had the better chances, but they have looked sluggish and rattled by the Portuguese.


Half-time: Portugal 0-0 Spain


Yellow card for Coentrao for dissent.


Spain's movement is simply not good enough here because Portugal's relentless closing down of space is meaning gaps just aren't appearing. Spain need to inject a considerable amount of energy into their game.


Spain can't seem to deal with Ronaldo and Arbeloa has just felled him once again as they adopt a cynical approach to halting his progress.


Yellow card for Ramos for a deliberate block on Ronaldo, who was looking for a one-two with Nani and would have been through on goal.


And Spain's problem repeats itself as Silva surges forward and tries to slip a through-ball to the onrushing Iniesta, but his pass was overhit. Portugal seem to be just giving themselves a breather attacking-wise, potentially with a view to a late salvo at the end of the half.


It's just not happening for Spain. Silva and Iniesta have just surged forward and had the defenders backing up, but when Iniesta tried to play a one-two, Silva's return ball was way off target.


Spain are suffering from a lack of movement off the ball. Too many players are static, in particular Xavi, Silva and Negredo, and it means they're not stretching Portugal. Negredo has been particularly disappointing.


Chance for Portugal as a sloppy pass out of the Spanish defence is seized upon instantly by Moutinho, who pokes the ball to Ronaldo to turn instantly and shoot narrowly wide of the near post. Yet more evidence of Portugal's outstanding desire to win the ball.


Portugal are giving Spain no end of trouble here and the reigning champions just cannot get into their rhythm. They're second best by a distance at the moment.


Chance for Spain as Negredo works the ball across to Iniesta on the left edge of the D, where the Barcelona man cuts inside a defender and sends a right-footed curling shot over.


Claim for a penalty as Ramos stoops right down to the ground to try and head a ball clear but ends up chesting the ball on to his arm. The referee waves play on, though.


Spain tend to vary their tempo in possession - slow, slow, slow and then fast when a gap opens up and runners present themselves. Their passing hasn't so far been as slick as it usually is, though, partly down to Portugal's excellent pressing.


Ronaldo tries his luck with an ambitious first-time shot on the swivel from 25 yards but it was high and wide of the goal, prompting Portugal's talisman to give a rueful smile.


But once again Spain get hold of the ball, slow the game down again and take the sting out of Portugal. Premature "oles" coming from the crowd as Spain ping it around defence and midfield.


Nani is crudely brought down by Ramos, who should have been booked, but the referee didn't even give the foul, much to the ire of the Portugal bench.


This is the first game of the tournament so far where the Spanish haven't had two-thirds of possession by now. It's more like 55/45 in favour of Portugal at the moment.


Portugal are enjoying a good spell of pressure here, peppering balls into the box and forcing Spain to defend furiously.


Spain have just released Arbeloa on the right wing but the Real Madrid man was quickly crowded out by Coentrao and Veloso and danger was cleared. At the other end, Ronaldo has just won a free-kick on the edge of the left side of the box after being hauled down by a combination of Arbeloa and Gerard Pique, but his subsequent free-kick was straight at the wall.


But then Ronaldo goes on a barnstorming run down the left on the counter-attack, leaving Arbeloa for dead, and while his cross for Nani was excellent, so too was the claim from Casillas in the Spanish goal. Fine play all round.


Portugal seem to have settled into a more defensive structure now, pressing the ball early while also maintaining positional discipline and keeping gaps closed in behind.


Fantastic chance for Spain as the ball is laid back to Arbeloa 15 yards out by Negredo, but the full-back's first-time right-footed shot was narrowly over. Almost immeditately after, Iniesta rifled a shot over from 20 yards. Spain are looking much better now.


And now Spain do get on the ball and start stringing some passes together. Their flow is broken when Xabi Alonso clips a long ball forward for David Silva, but the Manchester City maestro was stretching as he tried to shoot first time, allowing Rui Patricio to gather comfortably.


But then Spain get in behind Portugal's defence when Iniesta sends Jordi Alba free down the left wing with a deft flick, but Pepe spots the danger and cuts out the Valencia man's cross. Good anticipation.


Portugal are still controlling the early stages, moving the ball quickly and trying to get it wide to Nani and Ronaldo as early as possible. It's going to be busy night for Spain's full-backs.


Spain finally get hold of the ball, but then Alvaro Arbeloa is immediately edged out of possession by Fabio Coentrao. The reigning champions can't get settled against the Portuguese, who are pressing them high up the pitch.


High-tempo start from the Portuguese. Miguel Veloso has just had a shot from long range, but it was deflected harmlessly wide.


And we're under way, with the Spanish kicking off and uncharacteristically playing the ball long rather than getting settled into their passing rhythm.

Remember, all yellow cards were scrubbed off after the quarter-finals, so there are no players under threat of suspension for the final.

This game is a Uefa "Respect" match, so both captains have just read from cards urging the message of unity in football. That's out of the way now, though, and kick-off is just moments away.

The national anthems are now being sung, with Spain up first. The Spanish are in their traditional red shirts tonight, with Portgual in their changed strip of white.

The teams are in the tunnel, with Portugal to be led out by Ronaldo and Spain by Iker Casillas.

Ronaldo has been one of the tournament's outstanding players so far, but Spain manager has a plan to combat his threat. He said: "We'll intend to throw him off his game. The best example of that is the second round win at the World Cup, where we managed the better result (Spain beat Portugal 1-0)."

Cristiano Ronaldo is the tournament's joint top scorer on three goals, but he will come up against Euro 2012's best defence so far tonight. Spain have conceded only once (against Italy in their opener) and not in the last 299 minutes.

Spain have completed 2,623 passes in the tournament so far, more than twice as many as Portugal's 1,159. However, Portugal have hit the woodwork six times in their four games to date.

Spain will set a new European Championships finals record of 11 matches unbeaten if they avoid losing tonight. The last time they lost was against Portugal in Euro 2004, a result that ensured they were knocked out at the group stage.

And this is the Spain team: (4-2-3-1) Casillas; Arbeloa, Ramos, Pique, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Alonso; Silva, Xavi, Iniesta; Negredo. Subs: Valdes, Albiol, Javi Martinez, Juanfran, Pedro, Torres, Fabregas, Mata, Llorente, Santi Cazorla, Jesus Navas, Reina.

Here's how the Portuguese will line up: (4-3-3) Rui Patricio; Pereira, Pepe, Alves, Coentrao; Meireles, Veloso, Moutinho; Nani, Almeida, Ronaldo. Subs: Eduardo, Custodio, Quaresma, Nelson Oliveira, Ricardo Costa, Rolando, Ruben Micael, Varela, Miguel Lopes, Hugo Viana, Postiga, Beto.

Both teams have made one change to their starting line-ups, with Portugal replacing the injured Helder Postiga with Hugo Almeida. Spain's is more intriguing: they have replaced Cesc Fabregas with a striker, but it's not Fernando Torres, rather Sevilla's Alvaro Negredo.

Welcome along to our coverage of tonight's first Euro 2012 semi-final, between Portugal and Spain in Donetsk. The Portuguese booked their place in the last four by beating the Czech Republic 1-0, while the Spanish overcame France 2-0.

The teams are on their way back out. Another half like the first, and don't be surprised if Spain get knocked out tonight. Neither team have made a change.

Spain just about deserved to go through based on their improvement in the second half and then dominance in extra-time. Credit to Portugal, though, for the outstanding, high-intensity way in which they approached the first 60 minutes.

There was confusion surrounding Alves, who had earlier walked up to take the third penalty, only to be called back by Nani. Alves then had to walk up again for the fourth penalty, and duly missed.

Alves cannoned his penalty against the crossbar.

Substitution for Portugal, who send on Custodio for Veloso.

Spain were their usual, flowing selves in extra-time, largely because they were no longer being pressed at every turn by an exhausted Portugal team, who just didn't seem to have the legs for another 30 minutes.

**Provisional teams until kick-off


  • Paulo Bento Coach
  • Rui Patricio Goal
  • Joao Pereira Defender
  • Pepe Defender
  • Bruno Alves Defender
  • Fabio Coentrao Defender
  • Raul Meireles Midfielder
  • Miguel Veloso Midfielder
  • Joao Moutinho Midfielder
  • Nani Forward
  • Hugo Almeida Forward
  • Cristiano Ronaldo Forward
  • Eduardo Substitute
  • Beto Substitute
  • Ricardo Quaresma Substitute
  • Ricardo Costa Substitute
  • Rolando Substitute
  • Ruben Micael Substitute
  • Miguel Lopes Substitute
  • Hugo Viana Substitute
  • Helder Postiga Substitute
  • Nelson Oliveira
  • Custódio
  • Silvestre Varela


  • Vicente Del Bosque Coach
  • Iker Casillas Goal
  • Alvaro Arbeloa Defender
  • Gerard Pique Defender
  • Sergio Ramos Defender
  • Jordi Alba Defender
  • Xavi Midfielder
  • Sergio Busquets Midfielder
  • Xabi Alonso Midfielder
  • David Silva Forward
  • Alvaro Negredo Forward
  • Andres Iniesta Forward
  • Victor Valdes Substitute
  • Jose Manuel Reina Substitute
  • Raul Albiol Substitute
  • Javi Martinez Substitute
  • Juanfran Substitute
  • Fernando Torres Substitute
  • Juan Manuel Mata Substitute
  • Fernando Llorente Substitute
  • Santiago Cazorla Substitute
  • Francesc Fabregas Substitute who played
  • Jesus Navas Substitute who played
  • Pedro Substitute who played

Match Report

Fabregas sends Spain into Euro 2012 final
Spain reached their third consecutive major tournament final after overcoming neighbours Portugal 4-2 on penalties in their semi-final in Donetsk on Wednesday.
After an attritional game finished 0-0 following extra time, Cesc Fabregas swept home the winning spot-kick to put Spain in the final.
Xabi Alonso and Joao Moutinho both saw their opening penalties saved, but Portugal blinked first when Zenit Saint-Petersburg centre-back Bruno Alves slammed his side's fourth penalty against the crossbar.
Fabregas stepped up and, just as he had done in the penalty shootout win over Italy in the Euro 2008 quarter-finals, the Barcelona man held his nerve, steering the ball into the bottom-left corner, albeit off the inside of the post, to send Portugal home.
Reigning world and European champions Spain, who are bidding to become the first team in history to win three major competitions in a row, will face either Italy or Germany in Sunday's final in Kiev.
It was a deeply disappointing end to the tournament for Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo, who had threatened to fire his side into only their second major final but who did not even get a chance to have his say in the shoot-out.
A surprise inclusion in Spain's starting line-up, Alvaro Negredo was at the source of the game's first chance, with Alvaro Arbeloa side-footing over after the Sevilla striker was crowded out in the Portuguese area.
Portugal's match-winner against both the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, Ronaldo was a spectator in the first 10 minutes, but gradually his influence grew.
After fluffing a free-kick into the base of the wall from a tight angle on the left, he lashed a half-volley high over the crossbar from the edge of the area and then drilled a left-shot narrowly wide of the right-hand post.
As in the quarter-final win against France, Spain struggled to find holes in their opponent's defence, and it was a surprise to see Alonso club a long ball forward in the 29th minute.
It produced a sight of goal, however, with Andres Iniesta bending a shot narrowly over the bar after Negredo had chased down Alonso's pass, held off Fabio Coentrao, and worked the ball back to the edge of the area.
The snap in Portugal's tackles was helping them establish a presence in the Spanish half and with Negredo failing to provide enough of an outlet for Spain, it was no surprise to see him replaced by Fabregas early in the second half.
Del Bosque introduced Jesus Navas in place of David Silva, before Xavi worked Rui Patricio for the first time in the match with a speculative effort that found the Portugal goalkeeper's midriff.
Ronaldo had a fine opportunity to snatch a winner in the last minute of normal time but he could only shoot over from Raul Meireles' pass, prompting mocking cries of 'Messi! Messi!' from the Spain fans.





Golf Holidays