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Star boy Lamine Yamal makes headline as Spain reach fifth Euro Cup Finals

Star boy Lamine Yamal makes headline as Spain reach fifth Euro Cup Finals

Lamine Yamal(16y 362d) became the youngest-ever player to appear in a semi-final at a major international tournament, a record previously held by Brazil's Pele (17y 244d vs France at the 1958 World Cup)

Spain secured their spot in the Euro 2024 final with a dramatic 2-1 victory over France in Munich, thanks to a sensational goal from 16-year-old Lamine Yamal. This historic goal made Yamal the youngest player to score at a European Championship or World Cup, surpassing Brazil legend Pelé’s record. Yamal’s stunning left-footed strike from 25 yards out, which curled in off the post, was a highlight of a thrilling first half.

This Spanish side, although different from the dominant team of 2008-2012 that won three consecutive major tournaments, proved to be just as effective. Their victory over France marked a milestone as they became the first team to win six consecutive games at the European Championship and the first to achieve six wins in a single edition of the tournament. Spain reached their fifth European Championship final, with only Germany (6) managing more.

France’s finishing woes cost them

In contrast, Kylian Mbappe had struggled throughout Euro 2024, managing only one goal via a penalty against Switzerland. Mbappé, who had been hindered by a broken nose sustained in the opening match against Austria, finally removed his protective mask for this game. His impact was immediate; within eight minutes, he assisted the opening goal. Mbappé delivered a superb cross that Kolo Muani headed in, ending France’s streak of 86 non-penalty shots without a goal in the tournament. This goal was just Kolo Muani’s fifth for France, and his second in major tournament semi-finals, putting him in the company of French legends Michel Platini and Zinedine Zidane.

Lamine Yamal shines in Euro 2024 semifinals

The first 20 minutes belonged to France, but the momentum shifted when Yamal made history with his incredible goal, becoming the youngest scorer in European Championship history at 16 years and 362 days old. This goal came after 13 unsuccessful attempts in the tournament but was well worth the wait. Interestingly, it was exactly a year prior that Yamal had scored a remarkable goal from outside the box for Spain against France in the under-17 Euros.

Spain’s youngsters turn up big

Spain continued their comeback just five minutes later. Dani Olmo, who might not have started if not for Pedri’s injury in the quarter-final against Germany, capitalized on his opportunity. In the quarter-final, Olmo had come on early and contributed a goal and an assist. In this match, he put Spain ahead 2-1 with his third goal of the tournament, scoring after Jules Koundé deflected the ball into his path.

France seemed stunned and struggled to respond. It took until the 53rd minute for Didier Deschamps’ team to take another shot after conceding Yamal’s wonder strike. As the second half progressed, France applied more pressure, pushing Spain deeper into their own half. Despite this, Spain did not attempt another shot until 36 minutes into the second half, and that was their only shot in the second period. Additionally, they only managed three touches in the French box after halftime.

For France, this result marked their third consecutive international tournament without a trophy since their 2018 World Cup triumph. Despite having one of the strongest squads on paper, they once again fell short in a crucial match.

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