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European Leagues: European Cups: Euro 2000 -- Match 28

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  • Sun. 25th June: Game 28
    Spain - France
    Bruges (20:45)

spain.gif (1236 bytes)

Previous Games:
Spa - Nor (0-1)
Slo - Spa (1-2)
Yug - Spa (3-4)

Game 28

france.gif (1051 bytes)

Previous Games:
Fra - Den (3-0)
Cze - Fra (1-2)
Fra - Hol (2-3)

Match Preview:
Spain made it through to the last eight in dramatic fashion in the closing seconds against Yugoslavia, after losing their opening match to Norway, and can think themselves lucky to still be in the tournament at all.

Now the competition gets underway in earnest and World Champions France will test the Spaniards to their limits.

Whether Spain concentrate on their game, or try to cut out Zidane's effectiveness in sending the speedy Nicolas Anelka and Thierry Henry through, will decide the sort of match we'll see. Fast and furious with entertainment in mind, or slow and cautious to keep things tight.

France look faster and stronger than the team who beat Brazil two years ago and must fancy their chances here.

On the statistical downside, Spain have never beaten France in a competitive fixture and lost 0-2 to their neighbours, in the Final of France84. Then it was Platini who tormented the Spaniards, while this time it's Zidane who looks set to run with the bulls; if the matadors can't stop them.

To win this game, the Spaniards will need to find the character that gave them the kiss of live against Yugoslavia and provide a lot more for their fans to shout about than a few oles around the middle of the park.

If France go on to to win the European Championships, they will be the first reigning World Champions to do so. The balance and depth of talent in the team seems to suggest they could well do it.

Statistics to Date:

goal.gif (309 bytes) -- Goals Scored: red_card.gif (100 bytes)yellow_card.gif (94 bytes) -- Bookings:
Spain: (6)
Alfonso (2)
Jose Etxeberria (1)
Mendieta (1)
Pedro Munitis (1)
Raul (1)
France: (7)
Thierry Henry (2)
Laurent Blanc (1)
Youri Djorkaeff (1)
Christophe Dugarry (1)
David Trezeguet (1)
Sylvain Wiltord (1)
Red Cards: (none)

Yellow Cards: (6)
Abelardo (1)
Aranzabel (1)
Etxeberria (1)
Helguera (1)
Salgado (1)
Sergi (1)

Red Cards: (none)

Yellow Cards: (4)
Desailly (1)
Dugarry (1)
Thuram (1)
Vieira (1)

Spain Team:
1-Jose Canizares,
2-Michel Salgado, 3-Agustin Aranzabel, 5-Abelardo, 7-Ivan Helguera,
4-Josep Guardiola, 16-Gaizka Mendieta, 18-Paco Jemezd,
9-Pedro Munitis, 10-Raul, 11-Alfonso Perez.

France Team:
16-Fabien Barthez,
15-Lilian Thuram, 8-Marcel Desailly, 5-Laurent Blanc, 3-Bixente Lizarazu,
7-Didier Deschamps, 10-Zinedine Zidane, 6-Youri Djorkaeff, 4-Patrick Vieira,
12-Thierry Henry,  21-Christophe Dugarry.

Referee: Pierluigi Collina (Italy).

First Half:
Spain played their best football of the tournament so far as they tried to take the game to France.

They trail 1-2 at half-time, but the teams are level in performance. If anything, Spain could claim the edge.

Munitis, for the Spaniards, has looked outstanding on the left. The tiny man is marked by Thuram and has been felled more than a couple of times.

Seven minutes from half-time, Thuram was troubled by Munitis again and caught the Spaniard's foot in the French penalty area.

Mendieta side-footed sweetly from the spot to level the score for Spain; having sent Barthez the wrong way.

France had taken the lead five minutes before, from a Zidane free-kick; straight into the top left corner. No chance for Canizares.

Spain could have taken the lead in the 23rd minute, when Raul beat the offside and shot first time; forcing a great reflex push over the bar from Fabien Barthez.

Dugarry suffered a nose-bleed a few minutes later but calmly played on with a tampon up his nose and blood on his shirt; which he had to change.

A minute before half-time, Vieria by the D sees Djorkaeff running to his right. The ball is laid on for the Kaiserslauten player who has to check his step before coolly lifting the ball in the top right.

A great relief for the World Champions to go into the break in front.
Half-time: 1-2

Second Half:
No goals in the second half, although the pace after the restart was brisk. Then it started getting untidy and the Italian referee, Pierluigi Collina, had to put five names in his book; in the space of fifteen minutes.

France were technically better while Spain showed their nerves and lack of faith in themselves again.

In the last minute of normal time, the Spaniards were thrown a lifeline; a penalty, as Barthez pulled down Abelardo by the touchline.

You could have heard a till-receipt drop to the ground in Madrid, as Raul stepped up to the spot. He looked nervous, aimed for the top left corner-hand of the goal and missed the target completely.

Result: Spain 1 -- France 2

Miss of the Match: Raul.


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