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Spain beats France to book place in Euro Final

Spain reached the European Championship decider with a 2-1 victory over France on Tuesday, with 16-year-old Lamine Yamal becoming the youngest-ever scorer at the continental tournament.

Spain beats France to book place in Euro Final
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At the age of just 16, Spain’s Lamine Yamal has become the youngest goal scorer in the history of the Euros

MUNICH: After seeing off another one of the pre-tournament favourites to reach the Euro 2024 final, Spain coach Luis de la Fuente has warned England or the Netherlands that his team can still improve.

Spain reached the European Championship decider with a 2-1 victory over France on Tuesday, with 16-year-old Lamine Yamal becoming the youngest-ever scorer at the continental tournament.

France took an early lead when Randal Kolo Muani headed in a cross from Kylian Mbappe, who played without a mask, before Yamal's moment of brilliance in the 21st minute. Dani Olmo scored the clincher four minutes later.

“We were in a difficult stretch after not expecting to concede so early. I just took the ball and wanted to put it right there. I am very happy," Yamal said.

“I don't try to think about it too much, just enjoy myself and help the team, and if it goes my way, then I am happy (for the goal) and for the win.”

Spain, which is chasing a record fourth European Championship title, will play England or the Netherlands in the final on Sunday in Berlin — the day after Yamal's 17th birthday.

“We knew they were a great team, and they proved it again tonight," France coach Didier Deschamps said. "Even though we were fortunate to open the scoring, Spain made things difficult for us.

"They were superior in terms of control and technique. The team that gave the best impression was Spain. So they deserve to win tonight.”

Spain has been the best performing team of Euro 2024. It is the only team to have won all its matches and has scored 13 times, equaling a Spanish record for most goals at a European Championship and only one behind the overall record set by France in 1984.

“I'm sure the final will be totally different, against opponents who will demand the best from us,” De la Fuente said. “Even though it might sound difficult, there is room for improvement.”

Spain will find out its next opponent when England plays the Netherlands in the second semifinal at Dortmund on Wednesday.

There was surprise in Munich when Mbappe went onto the field without the mask he has been wearing since sustaining a broken nose in France's opening group game at Euro 2024.

But there was no stopping Yamal's stunning goal in the 21st minute as he became the youngest player ever to score at a men's European Championship when he curled the ball past Mike Maignan and in off the left post from 25 yards.

Spain turned the match around completely four minutes later when Olmo's goal-bound shot was turned into the net by France defender Jules Kounde. It was originally adjudged by UEFA to have been an own-goal but was later awarded to Olmo.

Agencies
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