Russia's dream run finally falters in Euro 2008

Vienna, Jun 27: Spain produced a superb display to cruise 3-0 past Russia and set up a Euro 2008 final against Germany on Sunday, June 26.

Spain made a positive start, with the partnership of David Villa and Fernando Torres demonstrating their threat early on. They took a fully-deserved lead after 50 minutes when Xavi arrived to perfection to slide home Andreas Iniesta's driven cross. Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas was the driving force behind the win after coming on as substitute for injured David Villa. And Guiza showed his prowess as a finisher when he scored Spain's second after 73 minutes, lifting Cesc Fabregas's superb pass over goal keeper Akinfeev.

Guiza had just come in as a replacement for Fernando Torres. Fabregas was running the game, and he produced another piece of superb creation to set up Silva for a precise finish with eight minutes left to ensure their three nil win..

The only cloud on Spain's horizon was the first-half injury to David Villa, who will now miss the final clash with Germany in Vienna.
Russia never threatened to produce the attacking firepower that saw them beat Holland in the last eight, and playmaker Andrei Arshavin was an anonymous figure throughout.

Arshavin entered the game with a huge weight of expectation on his shoulders, as well as transfer interest from Barcelona, but failed to deliver.
Spain were outstanding as they inflicted another heavy defeat on Guus Hiddink's side, as they had done in the group stages and were rarely under pressure. Veteran coach Luis Aragones now looks to have put together a side capable of ending the years of under-achievement, even making light of that injury to the influential Villa.

Following Thursday's (June 26) win,Spain have reached their third European Championship final. Xavi's goal was the 500th goal in the history of the European Championships. Spain's second goal by Daniel Guiza was the 13th by a substitute at Euro 2008. Spain have now scored seven goals through substitutes in European Championships. Only Portugal (11) have produced more.

OneIndia News

Story first published: Friday, June 27, 2008, 15:07 [IST]
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