UEFA 2012 European Championship: Day 20

Wednesday 27 June 2012


Action resumes later tonight as the first of the Semi-Finals takes place at the Donbass Arena in Donetsk, with the Iberian ‘clash’ between Spain and Portugal. These two have met previously in the European Championship Finals, although both games were at the Group stages of the competition.

The first meeting was at Euro 1984 in a Group B game played at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille. Both teams had drawn their opening fixture and this game also ended in a draw, although both teams did progress from the group into the knock-out stage. On fifty two minutes António Sousa put Portugal ahead, only for Santillana on seventy three minutes to level the score at 1-1. They met again at Euro 2004 in a Group A fixture played at the Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon. Portugal had to win to stay in the competition, whilst Spain knew a point would be enough to see them through. Portugal emerged victorious with a second-half goal from Nuno Gomez on fifty seven minutes and sent their neighbours out.

At Euro 2012, there has been debate about Spain playing without a ‘recognised’ striker and going with attacking midfielders, but that hasn’t stopped them progressing so far. Ronaldo has stepped up to the plate for Portugal in their last two games, and much will depend on whether he can continue that form, or whether Spain just choke the life out of the Portuguese in the way they did with the French. Difficult to call, but will go for Spain and then of course the ‘crocodile’ tears that Ronaldo will shed.