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Latino Daily News

Thursday June 28, 2012

Spain Defeats Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal and Advances to Euro 2012 Finals to Defend Title

Spain Defeats Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal and Advances to Euro 2012 Finals to Defend Title

Photo: Spain Defeats Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal and Advances to Euro 2012 Finals to Defend Title

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Spain’s national soccer team is one step closer to the unprecedented feat of winning three major competitions in four years after beating Portugal on penalties here Wednesday in the semifinal of the 2012 European Championship.

As he did in the Euro quarters four years ago, midfielder Cesc Fabregas delivered the decisive blow for Spain in the 4-2 shootout.

The Spanish squad, which followed its Euro 2008 triumph by winning the 2010 World Cup, will face Germany or Italy in Sunday’s final at Olympic stadium in Kiev.

Wednesday’s match before 48,000 fans at Donbass arena in Donetsk began with spirited play, but settled down into a defensive struggle for most of the 90 minutes of regulation.

While the two 15-minute overtime periods brought more action, neither team was able to score, forcing the penalty shootout.

Before play got under way, Spanish captain Iker Casillas and Portuguese counterpart Cristiano Ronaldo read a statement condemning racism.

Several Euro 2012 matches have been marred by racist insults from the stands directed at black players.