Germany and Spain Remain Euro 2012 Favourites
Germany and Spain have both booked their places in the Euro 2012 semi-finals with straightforward quarter-final victories.
Germany and Spain remain on course for a repeat of the Euro 2008 final. Current world and European champions Spain will meet neighbours Portugal in the semi-final, having cruised to victory over France. Vicente Del Bosque’s side were never really threatened by a toothless French side, who failed to muster a real goal-scoring opportunity. Spain dominated possession and looked the more potent going forward, despite starting without a recognized striker.
Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso broke the deadlock on 19 minutes, heading home a Jordi Alba cross, to mark his 100th international appearance. From that point on, the result never appeared in question, with Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas a virtual spectator. However, Spain had to wait until injury time in the second period to put the result beyond doubt. Substitute Pedro was bundled over in the box, and Alonso stepped up to stroke home his second goal of the game. For the fans that looking for betting on the euro final, it seems like you going to have a harder work this time.
Meanwhile, Germany’s path to the semi-finals was just as comfortable. They totally dominated the first-half against Greece and were unlucky to be only one goal ahead at the break, thanks to a beautiful strike by captain Philipp Lahm. Incredibly, Greece pulled things back to level terms when Celtic striker Georgios Samaras scored an equalizer ten minutes into the second half. From then on, it was all Germany. Joachim Loew’s side added three more goals, the first an excellent volley from Sami Khedira, followed by Miroslav Klose’s 64th international goal. Youngster Marco Reus added a fourth before a late consolation Greek penalty. Ominously, Germany cantered to victory having rested their three first choice strikers. It will take something special to stop the two favourites, Spain and Germany from reaching the final.