Alonso sends Spain past France, into Euro 2012 semis

Jun 24, 2012, 11:01 IST | IANS

Alonso's brace sends Spain straight into the semis after defeating France.

Two goals from Xabi Alonso handed reigning champions Spain a 2-0 Euro 2012 quarterfinal victory over France Saturday, setting up a semifinal against Portugal.

Alonso celebrated his 100th appearance for Spain with a goal on 18 minutes, popping up unmarked at the back post to head Jordi Alba's cross into the corner.

Xabi Alonso
Xabi Alonso: Photo: AFP

He sealed in with an injury-time penalty after substitute Pedro Rodriguez was felled in the box late on by Anthony Reveillere.

For a game packed with stars neither side produced much flair, the French coming closest with a Mathieu Debuchy header in the second half.

The Spaniards, retaining their tag as favourites to take a third-successive Euro title, remain in Donetsk for Wednesday's semifinal.

France, the three-time champions, are eliminated from a competition in which they had hopes of far greater success.

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