Alonso sends Spain past France, into Euro 2012 semis

Last Updated: Sat, Jun 23, 2012 23:50 hrs

Donetsk, June 24 (IANS/RIA Novosti) 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.

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.

---IANS/RIA Novosti


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