Spain advances to Euro title game
Still not pretty to watch, still just as effective. Spain again failed to dazzle at the European Championship yet still advanced to its...
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DONETSK, Ukraine — Still not pretty to watch, still just as effective.
Spain again failed to dazzle at the European Championship yet still advanced to its third straight major-championship final, beating Portugal 4-2 in a penalty shootout Wednesday after a scoreless draw.
"We're playing better in defense than what the characteristics of our players would suggest," Spain coach Vicente del Bosque said. "That's what earns victories."
After earning plaudits for the eye-catching one-touch passing that helped Spain win titles at Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup, this year's team is struggling to create chances. Against Portugal, the defending champions managed only one quality shot in regulation time.
It didn't matter, though, because the Spanish still came through when it mattered. Cesc Fabregas, who came on as a substitute in the second half, scored the deciding penalty after Bruno Alves hit the crossbar for Portugal moments earlier.
Spain will next face either Germany or Italy on Sunday in Kiev.
"Being in another final is a miracle," Fabregas said. "It's really incredible."
Cristiano Ronaldo had several chances for Portugal, but he sent three shots well over the crossbar as his team held its own for the entire match.
Toronto FC 3, at Montreal 0
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