Spain goes to the finals of the 2008 European Championship for the first time in 24 years after beating Russia 3-0. They meet Germany in Vienna on June 29 for the finals. But injured Spanish striker David Villa will be forced to miss the match.
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VIENNA, June 26 (Reuters) - Spain reached the European
Championship final for the first time in 24 years on Thursday
with a convincing 3-0 win over Russia to set up a meeting with
Germany in Sunday's Euro 2008 decider.
Xavi scored with a superbly taken opportunist volley at a
rainswept Ernst Happel stadium to give
after 50 minutes and substitute Daniel Guiza made no mistake
when he beat the offside trap to make it 2-0 after 73 minutes.
Cesc Fabregas set up David Silva to make it 3-0 eight
minutes from time.
"We're in the final, it's what we all wanted but, of course,
now we've got a team in front of us which is
a very big challenge," said
"The first half was difficult but our second half
performance was extraordinary."
Midfielder Andres Iniesta added: "The team just got better
and better as the game went on. We dominated throughout and
we're absolutely delighted to be in the final."
opponent. We managed to keep up more or less on the same level
for one hour -- they had to make us tired.
"Having third place in this tournament is a tremendous
success and they (
into the second half when Iniesta cut in from the left and found
Xavi who had lost his markers.
He took his chance brilliantly to put
way to their first final since they lost to
Guiza replaced Fernando Torres up front after 69 minutes and
took only four minutes to strike after being set up by
midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who had a huge influence after
replacing the injured David Villa after 35 minutes.
be attempting to be crowned European champions for the first
time since their only success in 1964.
were the better side again on Thursday, totally deserving their
triumph because their midfield dominated and created plenty of
chances for the front men.
inspiration behind their revival, had a largely anonymous game.
Both teams made a lively start in the pouring rain with
straight at Igor Akinfeyev after six minutes and Villa forced
the keeper into a good save five minutes later.
Roman Pavlyuchenko blasted a free kick just over Iker Casillas's
bar. He also went close with a long-range shot after 31 minutes.
However, the second half belonged to triumphant
Date created : 2008-06-26