Portugal vs. Spain Video: Cesc Fabregas Sinks Portugal with Game-Winning PK
Cesc Fabregas has done it again.
Much like in the 2008 European semifinals against Italy, Fabregas sent Spain to the Euro title game with a decisive penalty kick, vaunting the team past a gritty Portugal squad, 0-0 (4-2 on penalties).
In the years to come, the Portuguese will be haunted by one simple question: Why didn't Cristiano Ronaldo ever get the chance to shoot?
This match was a defensive struggle and a battle for possession throughout, with clear opportunities for both sides coming few and far between. While Spain came close on several opportunities in the extra periods, the meeting appeared destined for penalties about halfway through the second period.
In a game that was dominated by defense, the penalty kicks fittingly featured a slew of defenders.
After two misses to start the shootout, Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos for Spain and Pepe and Nani for Portugal made penalties, giving Spain a 3-2 lead and Portugal the chance to even the score heading into the fifth kicks.
With the risk of losing if Fabregas were to convert the final penalty kick for Spain, Portugal would certainly send out the second-best player in the world, right?
Wrong. Instead of going with Ronaldo, they sent out Bruno Alves, who hit the crossbar and failed to score. And in a game that deserved to be decided by inches, Fabregas stepped up and hit the sidebar but got a winning bounce into the goal.
Game over. Spain moves on, leaving Portugal to wonder what would have happened if Ronaldo took the fourth kick.
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets hit the mark more often than Spain's passing.
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