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BBC 5 Live's Alan Green
'Spain made life very uncomfortable for the world champions'
 real 28k

Sunday, 25 June, 2000, 20:45 GMT 21:45 UK
Raul miss sends France through
Youri Djorkaeff
Youri Djorkaeff celebrates his winner
Spain 1-2 France
(Bruges, Att: 30,000)

France completed the semi-final line-up at Euro 2000 after another dramatic clash with Spain.

Young Spanish striker Raul could have sent the game into extra-time after his side had been awarded a penalty in the final minute - but the Real Madrid star put his kick high and wide of the French goal.

This was an intoxicating battle between two fine sides, with Zinedine Zidane and Youri Djorkaeff scoring the goals for the World Champions, with Mendieta's penalty for Spain sandwiched between those two strikes.

The match lived up to all the hype, the two sides facing each other for the first time in the competition since the 1984 final, which was won by a Michel Platini inspired France.

Attack

The first half was in keeping with the general theme of the tournament, with both sides committed to attack and plenty of chances.


Zidane and Salgado
Zinedine Zidane holds off Salgado
Before Zidane's opening goal, the French had three acceptable chances, with the Juventus player guilty of missing the best of them.

It was Zidane who picked out Patrick Vieira from a free-kick in the third minute, but the Arsenal midfielder got underneath the cross and headed over the bar.

From an identical position, Christophe Dugarry did the same as Vieira, this time from a Didier Deschamps cross.

Mis-kick

But it was Dugarry's pass which created the opening for Zidane, the Juventus midfielder completely miskicking from eight yards, with not a Spanish defender near him.


Match facts
33rd minute: Zidane curls a free-kick to give France the lead
38th minute: Mendieta equalises from the penalty spot after Thuram's foul on Munitis
44th minute: Djorkaeff puts France back in the lead
90th minute: Raul misses Spain's second penalty
The Spaniards were equally productive in the French half, with Munitis giving Lilian Thuram all kinds of problems on the French left.

Despite the winger's hard work, their first great chance was conceived through the middle, with Alfonso threading a pass through to Raul, whose first time lob was tipped over by Fabien Barthez.

Even allowing for the quality of the game, a goal was required to add some spice to the combat - and it arrived in the 33rd minute.

Djorkaeff won a free-kick four yards outside the Spanish penalty area. From a central area, Zidane struck the ball with pace and swerve to leave Canizares with no chance.

Dangerous

Yet the Spanish have shown during the tournament that they are dangerous after conceding a goal - and so it proved again.


Zidane goal
Zidane curls home the opening goal
A quick and incisive break from Munitis invited Thuram to make a challenge inside his own penalty area and referee Pierluigi Collina ruled that the Spanish winger had been illegally impeded.

Mendieta, who scored from the spot against Yugoslavia, did so again, sending Barthez the wrong way.

But the other side to Spain's displays has been their defensive frailty, which had been exposed against the Yugoslavs - and it came to the fore again. Vieira danced through to the edge of the penalty area and found Djorkaeff inside the 18-yard area - and his right-foot shot beat Canizares at the near post.

In comparison, the second half was much scrappier, with Collina brandishing the yellow card on five occasions.


Djorkaeff
Youri Djorkaeff celebrates his winning goal
One of those cautions came as a result of a rare break from Thierry Henry, who galloped nearly 60 yards from the middle of his own half before being cynically brought down by Paco.

Despite having most of the possession, the Spanish were having trouble breaking down the experienced French defence, with Marcel Desailly and Laurent Blanc holding firm.

Then came the dramatic final minute, with Barthez bringing down Abelardo in his own six-yard area.

Initially disconsolate, the Manchester United keepr punched the air seconds later when Raul blew Spain's final chance.


Spain: Canizares, Salgado, Abelardo, Paco, Aranzabal, Guardiola, Mendieta (Urzaiz Aranda 56), Helguera (Gerard 76), Munitis (Etxeberria 72), Raul, Perez Munoz.

France: Barthez, Lizarazu, Thuram, Blanc, Desailly, Vieira, Djorkaeff, Deschamps, Zidane, Henry (Anelka 80), Dugarry.

Referee: P Collina (Italy).

Search BBC Euro 2000

 

See also:

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25 Jun 00 | France
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16 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Djorkaeff puts Czechs out
11 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Henry humbles Danes
25 Jun 00 | Euro2000
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