Euro '08: Day 16 Review

Posted on: 24 June 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

Spain set up a clash with Russia in Euro 2008's semi-finals after beating world champions Italy on penalties.


Spain beat Italy 4-2 on penalties to reach the semi-finals of Euro 2008 after a dour goalless draw in Vienna.

Goalkeeper Iker Casillas made two crucial saves from the spot to hand the Spanish victory and leave world champions Italy packing their bags.

Marcos Senna came closest in normal time when Italian stopper Gigi Buffon fumbled his shot on to a post.

Results

Portugal 2-3 Germany

Croatia 1-1 Turkey (1-3 on pens)

Holland 1-3 Russia (AET)

Spain 0-0 Italy (4-2 on pens)

But his opposite number grabbed all the plaudits as he saved from Danielle de Rossi and Antonio di Natale.

Daniel Guiza saw his spot-kick saved by Buffon, but Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas slid home the crucial winning penalty.

Penalties was an almost inevitable outcome as both sides looked unwilling to force any sustained pressure on the defences and what was billed as one of the matches of the tournament, failed to live up to the hype.

Semi-Finals

25th June

Germany Vs Turkey

26th June

Russia Vs Spain

It was a change of fortune for the Spanish, who have gone out of three major championships on the same date, the World Cups of 1968 and 2002 and Euro ’96 – all in the quarter-finals on penalties.

In fact, bookmakers received overwhelming bets against Spain reaching the final four once the game went to penalties.

Spain will now face Russia in a repeat of Group D’s opening fixture which the Spanish ran out as 4-1 winners.

But that result will unlikely have any bearing on what happens in Vienna as Russia have welcomed back inspirational skipper Andrei Arshavin from suspension.

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