SEMI-FINAL 2: France Beat The World Champions To Reach The Final

The second semi-final of the Euro 2016 tournament was played between France and Germany, which the hosts ended up winning 2-0.

The first goal of the game came at the end of the first half, when Bastian Schweinsteiger conceded a penalty by handling the ball inside the box – which Antoine Griezmann converted. The Atletico Madrid star struck again in the 72nd minute, by capitalizing on a semi-cleared cross and slotting the ball home through the legs of Manuel Neuer.

Joshua Kimmich came close to scoring for the Germans, but only managed to hit the woodwork, and later had his headed attempt saved brilliantly by Hugo Lloris.

France went on to win the game by two goals, thereby beating Germany for the first time at a major tournament since 1958.

Antoine Griezmann, who is now the tournament’s top scorer with 6 goals, was named the man of the match for his game-winning brace.

He had the following to say in the post-match interview: “I’m very pleased. We knew it would be very tough and we held firm defensively, our keeper played very well. We have to rest up well and already start thinking about the final. We will start training for it tomorrow. Against Portugal, it’s 50-50, anything can happen in a final, it’s a one-off game.”

France boss Didier Deschamps also had his say: “I’m delighted for the players. It was a tough game against a team that made us suffer but we suffered together. We haven’t only had easy games. Germany were and are still the best side. We did what we needed to do. We were clinical, and Lloris was great when we needed him to be.

“We are in a final. We have our chance and Portugal have their chance too. It’s not as if just because we’re hosts and have knocked out Germany that gives us extra power. Portugal believe in themselves, and we believe in ourselves. It’s still very open.”

Germany manager Joachim Low rued his team’s luck following the defeat: “In 2012 or 2010 when we went out, the other sides were better than us. Today that wasn’t the case. We were better than the French. We were the better team. We had good body language. We were good in the one-on-one. It was unfortunate that we conceded the goal.

“The side did everything I told them. We had a lot of courage. There’s nothing to blame them for. We had our chances. Regretfully we didn’t score. We didn’t have the luck we needed.”

Having knocked the World Champions out, France will now face-off against Portugal in the Euro 2016 final on Sunday.


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