Friday, 19 July

Spain beat France to reach Euro 2024 final

Sports News
Spain are in the Euro 2024 finals

Lamine Yamal became the youngest goalscorer in European Championship history as Spain beat France in an absorbing contest to reach the final of Euro 2024.

After Randal Kolo Muani headed in Kylian Mbappe's cross to give France an early lead, Yamal curled home a stunning strike from outside the box to write his name into the record books by scoring at the age of 16 years and 362 days.

Yamal's goal came in the 21st minute, and Spain were ahead just four minutes later as Dani Olmo's shot was turned home by France defender Jules Kounde.

France had to come out fighting after a thrilling first half - and they did just that, with Aurelien Tchouameni having a header saved and Mbappe denied from an ambitious effort.

The France captain, playing without a face mask for the first time since breaking his nose at the start of the tournament, had a big chance to equalise late on - but he shot high over the bar in a moment that summed up his recent form.

While Spain have been the most attacking side at the tournament to date, here they showed they have the defence to match as they stayed on course for a fourth European Championship title.

France, for their part, came up short in attack against a side that will take some stopping when they face either England or the Netherlands in Sunday's final.

Yamal's star continues to rise

Spain are deserved finalists having been the best side at these Euros, winning all six of their games and scoring a tournament-high 13 goals.

Their shining lights have undoubtedly been their younger players, with Yamal and 21-year-old winger Nico Williams grabbing the headlines at various points.

This time it was all about Yamal.

The forward is not yet 17 but has already had a brilliant breakout season at Barcelona, during which he became both their youngest ever player and goalscorer.

He has taken that to the international stage by becoming the youngest man to score at the European Championship, showing a confidence far beyond his years.

Yamal looked nerveless in the build-up to the biggest game of his career, and when he had the chance let fly with a swerving strike straight into the top corner.

It was a goal that underlined the teenager has everything needed to become one of the world's best players.

France fall short

France reached the World Cup final two years ago and undoubtedly had the quality of players to replicate that run here.

But a mixture of reserved tactics and Mbappe's injury played their part in them falling just short.

Mabppe, who scored only one goal at Euro 2024, has not looked right since he broke his nose in the opening game against Austria.

A great cross to set up France's goal here suggested he may have found his form at just the right time, but after that there was little to be seen of him in the crucial moments.

So Didier Deschamps' side depart having scored just four goals, with only one from one their players in open play.

Source: BBC