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Euro 2012 live blog: 28 June – live! | Sachin Nakrani

28th June 2012

• Follow Germany v Italy from 7pm tonight
Richard Williams on Ronaldo’s (non) penalty
• Email sachin.nakrani@guardian.co.uk

9.35am: So then pop-pickers, tell me: which one of you would have stepped-up to take a penalty had the destiny of your country depended on it? I’m no braveheart but I reckon I may have, certainly so if I was my team’s captain and standout player (a highly unlikely scenario as anyone who has ever shared a five-a-side pitch with me would testify to). Not so Cristiano Ronaldo, though. No, CR7, he of the strut ‘n’ pout, decided instead to lurk in his shadows after Portugal had taken Spain to a penalty shootout in yesterday’s semi-final in Donetsk. He was down to strike the fifth kick apparently, but Paulo Bento’s men only got to No4 following misses from João Moutinho and Bruno Alves. Proper men, them. Good on ‘em.

So, anyway, Spain are through to Sunday’s final and are only one win away from becoming the first nation to win three consecutive international tournaments. They will face the winner of tonight’s other semi-final between Germany and Italy in Warsaw. Should be some game.

To start your day we have, as ever, some tip-top Euro 2012 content for you to get through, so why not check out:

AC Jimbo and the pod crew deliver their verdict on Spain’s victory over Portugal

Sid Lowe reports from the match itself

And what about these for cracking Spain v Portugal-based pictures

Paul Wilson analyses Germany’s prospects ahead of their meeting with Italy

Amy Lawrence focuses her eye on the impressive talents of Mats Hummels

Enjoy!

Sachin will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s a report from last night’s semi-final:

A penalty shootout began Spain’s era and a penalty shootout could have ended it. Instead, the dream of a unique treble is still alive. A 0-0 draw and penalties with Italy in the quarter-final of this competition four years ago was the turning point, a game that changed Spain’s history and changed their future. The man who scored the decisive penalty that night: Cesc Fábregas. On Wednesday night he again stood over the spot after 120 minutes had failed to yield a goal.

Fábregas had been down to take the second penalty but he had talked Vicente del Bosque into letting him take the fifth, admitting that he had a feeling hours before the game that this moment would come. “He told me that he wanted to take the fifth because he was going to give us the victory,” the Spain coach said. Now the midfielder talked himself through the moment, convincing himself that he could do it again. And then he ran up and scored, the ball flying into the net off the right-hand post to send Spain into a third successive final.

“Being in another final is a miracle, it’s very emotional,” Fábregas said of the meeting on Sunday with Germany or Italy, who play on Thursday night. “I had a funny feeling about the penalties and I was thinking about them this afternoon. That life has given me another chance like this is really incredible. When I stepped up to take the penalty I said to the ball that we had to make history and it shouldn’t let me down. They told me initially to take the second one but I said no, give me the fifth as I had this premonition.”



For the full match report, click here.


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