Germany 0-1 Spain. The scores showing a tight match. Yes, it was a tight match. But I think Spain played much better than Germany and the better team wins the match.
Even the presence of captain Michael Ballack could not help Germany contain a crafty Spanish team that exploited a slow-footed defence and dominated the European Championship final Sunday in every department.
Instead of Germany winning its record fourth title, it was Spain that captured its second championship after decades of trying with a 1-0 win at Ernst Happel Stadium. Luis Aragonés squad overcame a physical German side with a goal from Fernando Torres.
Fernando Torres was the hero for Spain by firing them to Euro 2008 glory against Germany in Vienna – and ending 44 years of underachievement with a 1-0 victory. Fernando Torres simply ran around Philipp Lahm when he scored the winning goal in the 33rd minute. Earlier, he had easily beat Per Mertesacker, Germany’s tallest player, to head against the post.
Spain had a chance to go 2-0 up soon after but the unmarked David Silva badly fluffed his volley after being picked out by Andres Iniesta inside the area.
After the break the Germans sparked into life, with Ballack hitting the side-netting of Iker Casillas’ goal with a volley from the edge of the box soon after, before the Chelsea man and Bastian Schweinsteiger both fired in dangerous crosses.
The match threatened to boil over in the 65th minute when Silva and Lukas Podolski went head-to-head, but despite the appearance of a butt from the Spain man, he escaped a card.
Spain very nearly doubled their lead in the 67th minute when Sergio Ramos broke the offside trap to power a Xavi free-kick goalwards with his head but Lehmann diverted the ball for a corner.
From the corner Iniesta saw his shot cleared off the line by Torsten Frings, before the Barcelona man was denied by Lehmann with another effort soon after.
Luis Aragones’ side still looked the more likely scorers over the closing stages and, with Germany producing nothing to worry Casillas in the Spain goal, the Iberian nation deservedly walked off with the Henri Delaunay trophy.
Heavyweights in European football who produce a constant stream of individual talents, Spain had not won a major tournament since 1964 but finally shook off their tag of being chokers, not able to cope with the pressure of the highest stage.
When Spain goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas accepted the trophy on a stage, the Spanish fans began chanting the melody to their national anthem, which has no words. Thousands of camera flashes went off as the players jumped in place, then headed onto the field to show off their prize.
0 – Germany: Lehmann; Fiedrich, Mertesacker, Metzelder, Lahm (Jansen, m.46); Frings, Hitzlsperger (Kuranyi, m.58); Schweinsteiger, Ballack, Podolski; Klose (Mario Gómez, m.79).
1 – Spain: Casillas; Sergio Ramos, Puyol, Marchena, Capdevila; Senna; Iniesta, Xavi, Cesc (Xabi Alonso, m.63), Silva (Cazorla, m.66); Torres (Güiza, m.78).
Goal: 0-1: m.33: Torres took advantage of a pass from Xavi, got past Lahm and kicked the ball over the goalkeeper Lehmann.
Referree: Roberto Rosetti (Italu). Yellow cards for the Germans Ballack (m.42), Kuranyi (m.87) and for the Spaniards Casillas (m.42), Torres (m.74).
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