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Sunday, June 24, 2012

It is Spain who will play Portugal in Semis


Chanakya, the Oscar Fish was wrong  - done in by Xabi Alonso’s star performance.  

The Spanish Manager - Vicente del Bosque González, was a relieved man as Spain put it across the fancied France.  Del Bosque has been there for quite sometime, managing the national team to the conquest of their first-ever World Cup in 2010. Del Bosque is also known for having coached Real Madrid from 1999 to 2003, the most successful period in the club's modern era. Xabier "Xabi" Alonso Olano, the star midfielder of Real Madrid did the star turn in the high profile Quarter finals of Euro 2012 yesterday.  

Alonso began his career at Real Sociedad, the main team of his home region Gipuzkoa. He moved to Real Madrid for the start of the 2009–10 season, in a deal worth around £30 million. Internationally, Alonso has represented Spain in the Euro 2004, Euro 2008 tournaments and in the 2006 World Cup and 2010 World Cup.  It was his 100th match yesterday.

Photo courtesy – www.uefa.com

Xabi Alonso celebrated his 100th cap with a goal in either half as Spain beat France in a competitive game for the first time to book a UEFA EURO 2012 semi-final against neighbours Portugal on Wednesday.   The two goals performance  duly earned him the Carlsberg Man of the Match Award. The former Liverpool FC player went into the match having notched just 13 goals in his 99 previous outings but, after first trying his luck with a trademark long-range shot, he made the breakthrough on 19 minutes following a surging run from his holding position. Meeting Jordi Alba's cross from the left at the far post, he nodded the ball back towards the opposite corner for a rare headed goal.  "I don't score many," he explained afterwards. 

The midfielder then moved his international tally onto 15 in added time after Pedro RodrĂ­guez was fouled in the area. He stepped up for the resultant spot kick and ended any lingering tension by sending Hugo Lloris the wrong way. Though the goalscorer, considering the occasion, was a worthy centurion of this particular red army, his midfield cohorts were no less influential. France, by contrast, were compact as demanded but blunt and lacking in numbers getting forward. Yohan Cabaye's first-half free-kick was Iker Casillas's only notable save.

So France out, and Spain moved ahead

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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