Euro 2012: Alonso Sends Spain Past France, Into Semifinals Against Portugal
By Ria Novosti
Two goals from Xabi Alonso handed reigning champions Spain a 2-0 Euro 2012 quarterfinal victory over France on Saturday, setting up a semifinal against Portugal.
Alonso celebrated his 100th appearance for Spain with a goal on 18 minutes, popping up unmarked at the back post to head Jordi Alba’s cross into the corner.
He sealed in with an injury-time penalty after substitute Pedro Rodriguez was felled in the box late on by Anthony Reveillere.
For a game packed with stars neither side produced much flair, the French coming closest with a Mathieu Debuchy header in the second half.
The Spaniards, retaining their tag as favorites to take a third-successive Euro title, remain in Donetsk for Wednesday’s semifinal.
France, the three-time champions, are eliminated from a competition in which they had hopes of far greater success.