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Page last updated at 22:36 GMT, Sunday, 22 June 2008 23:36 UK
Spain 0-0 Italy (4-2 pens)
Vienna, 22 June 2008
606 debate | Blog

Spain coach Luis Aragones
Aragones guided Spain to a win over Russia in their Euro 2008 opener

Spain coach Luis Aragones hailed his side's resolve after they overcame a defensive Italy on penalties to set up a Euro 2008 semi-final against Russia.

A sterile match ended in a 0-0 draw before Spain won 4-2 on spot-kicks.

"I would like to congratulate first of all my players for their remarkable behaviour and maintaining their morale during the match," said Aragones.

"It was very difficult as the Italians closed down all the spaces, which made it difficult to play our natural game."

Spain had struggled to break down their defensive-minded opponents before winning the challenge of nerves in the shoot-out.

"Like all the Spanish camp I'm delighted by this victory," added Aragones.


"But we've done nothing more than win a small battle. I think Spain just about deserved to win but we didn't play good football and neither did Italy.

"We did the job and in Spain we have always talked about not getting past the quarters but now we have a chance of getting to the final. The team is convinced they can win this."

Cesc Fabregas scored the winning penalty after Spain keeper Iker Casillas saved from Daniele de Rossi and Antonio di Natale.

Interview: Fernando Torres

Spain's victory was their first over Italy in major competition since the 1920 Olympics and went some way to shedding a reputation of buckling in major tournaments.

"This is wonderful, it is impossible to find the words to express such an emotion," said Fabregas.

"We are just simply delighted. This is an important victory for this young side. We have been waiting for this for a long time."

His side now face a Russia team that has been rejuvenated since being drubbed 4-1 by the Spaniards in their opening group game of the tournament.

"It will be a very different game," stated Aragones. "They've got a very physically very fit side and have had an extra day's rest. It will be extremely tough for us.

"Russia are at their peak given the way their season works and they were outstanding against the Dutch in extra time.

"It will be very difficult because they have a very good side."

see also
Spain 0-0 Italy (4-2 pens)
22 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Spain v Italy photos
22 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Euro 2008 day 16 as it happened
22 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Spain team guide
15 May 08 |  Spain
Italy team guide
15 May 08 |  Italy
Pick your Spain XI
23 May 08 |  Spain
Pick your Italy XI
23 May 08 |  Italy

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