Portugal vs. Spain Recap

The Spanish rejoice after their win agianst Portugal when Cesc Fábregas makes the final penalty kick.

In many ways, the Portugal-Spain game was like the one between Italy and England. In both games, all 120 minutes passed without a single ball getting in the net. During the penalty shootout, both games ended in a 4-2 win for Italy and Spain. The last quarterfinal was mostly a one-sided game, with Italy having dominant possession of the ball and significantly more chances on goal. On the other hand, in the first semifinal game, the match was very well balanced, with more-or-less equal possession and about the same number of shots. Both teams in the Protugal-Spain game got some very nice chances. Spain had 57% possession of the ball and 11 shots (5 on goal), while Portugal had 43% possession and 10 shots (2 on goal). By the 30th minute, Spain had two great opportunities to get the ball in the net, but the shots from inside the penalty area by Álvaro Arbeloa and Andrés Iniesta went above the crossbar. In the second half, Cristiano Ronaldo had two chances, one from a free kick and one from inside the box; both sailed over the goal. Extra time was completely owned by the Spanish, with some nice breakaways and very close shots from Iniesta and Ramos. The first two PKs from Xabi Alonso and João Moutinho were saved. When it was time for Portugal’s 4th kick, Bruno Alves’ kick hit the post, giving Spain the victory after Cesc Fábregas’ goal. I feel that it was a big mistake by Portugal for not having Ronaldo shoot earlier in the PKs. Out of all the people on the team, they should have let the world-class forward kick the first penalty. He could have changed the entire game by making the first penalty and giving hope to the Portuguese. In the end, Spain finally sealed their well-deserved win, and they will play Italy in the Euro 2012 Final on July 1st.