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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

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Germany out of Euro 2024:

Image Source: Hindustan Times

Mikel Merino’s dramatic header in the 119th minute propelled Spain to a thrilling 2-1 victory over hosts Germany, securing their spot in the Euro 2024 semifinals. The match was a testament to both teams’ strengths, with each side pushing hard throughout the game. Florian Wirtz had given Germany a glimmer of hope with a late goal just before the end of regular time, but it was Merino who ultimately sealed the deal for Spain.

The first half was intense, marked by numerous chances for both sides, yet neither managed to break the deadlock. Spain, with 8 shots compared to Germany’s 3, showcased their attacking prowess. Leading up to the quarterfinal clash, Spain had been in dominant form, driven by rising stars like Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams, while Germany had carried the weight of expectation as tournament hosts.

Spain entered the match as favorites, riding on a wave of momentum and bolstered by their underrated midfield trio of Pedri, Rodri, and Fabian Ruiz. Rodri provided defensive stability, Pedri orchestrated plays with creativity, and Ruiz added pressure with his forward runs. Meanwhile, Germany relied on Jamal Musiala, who had been exceptional throughout the tournament, showcasing his ability to break through defenses with skillful play.

The match held sentimental significance as it potentially marked the end of Toni Kroos’ international career, with Spain aiming to send the veteran midfielder into retirement with a defeat. Despite the respect and admiration for Kroos, Spain’s focus was solely on securing victory in Stuttgart to advance to the semifinals.

Joselu, reflecting on his time with Kroos at Real Madrid, expressed mixed emotions about potentially ending Kroos’ career but emphasized Spain’s determination to succeed regardless. As Kroos prepared to retire after the Euros, his influence on both Real Madrid and Germany remained profound, making him a central figure in Friday’s high-stakes clash.

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