Europe: European Championship
2 - 1
(1 - 1)(0 - 0)
D. Olmo (51), M. Merino (119), D. Carvajal (120)
F. Wirtz (89)
By Rune Gjerulff@runegjerulff

Spain crush Germany's Euros dreams

Spain ended Germany's hopes of winning the European Championship on home soil with a dramatic 2-1 extra-time victory over the hosts in Stuttgart.


Germany are out of the European Championship after a heartbreaking 2-1 extra-time defeat to Spain in Stuttgart on Friday night.

In a tightly contested first half, Spain looked the more likely to score and tested Manuel Neuer with a number of shots right from the start.

Dani Olmo, who came on early when Pedri was injured, and Nico Williams went particularly close, while Kai Havertz missed a couple of chances at the other end.

Given Spain's dominance in the first half, Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann made two substitutions at the break, replacing Emre Can and Leroy Sané with Robert Andrich and Florian Wirtz.

But the changes didn't have an immediate positive effect, as Spain went ahead early in the second half. Dani Olmo finished clinically after latching onto a low pass from Lamine Yamal.

The goal prompted Nagelsmann to make further changes, with Maximilian Mittelstädt and Niclas Füllkrug coming on for David Raum and Ilkay Gündogan. And as the second half progressed, Germany grew into the game and came closer and closer to leveling the scores.

After Niclas Füllkrug hit the post and Kai Havertz put too much force into an attempt to chip Unai Simon in the Spanish goal, it was Florian Wirtz who sent the German team and fans into raptures with a late equaliser.

Maximilian Mittelstädt's deep cross found Kimmich, who headed the ball back to the Leverkusen prodigy, and he unleashed a low shot inside the far post to send the game into extra time.

After Germany dominated the final period of normal time, creating chance after chance with nothing to lose, extra time began in a more restricted fashion.

Just before the end of the first period of extra time, Mikel Oyarzabal fired a shot wide of the German goal, before Florian Wirtz came even closer to scoring at the other end, firing a great chance just past the far post.

The Germans were hoping for a penalty early in the second half of extra time when Jamal Musiala's shot struck the arm of Marc Curcurella, but the referee waved away their protests.

With five minutes remaining in extra time, Germany had another great chance to make it 2-1 when Niclas Füllkrug met Joshua Kimmich's cross, but the BVB striker was denied by an excellent save from Unai Simon.

But just when it looked like the game would go to penalties, Spain stepped up from nowhere to seal the victory. Second-half substitute Mikel Merino, completely unmarked, rose high and powered a header past Manuel Neuer to send Spain into the semifinals and Germany out of the tournament in the most brutal fashion.

Niclas Füllkrug came painfully close again with a header that flew just wide of the post, but it wasn't to be for Germany.

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