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EURO 2012 LIVE: Portugal vs. Spain

Source : AP
Last Updated: Wed, Jun 27, 2012 19:31 hrs

Portugal plays Spain in the first semifinal of the European Championship in Donetsk, Ukraine, Wednesday. Here's the running account of the action and pre-match buildup. All times are local to Poland.

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2049: Casillas has to tip over the bar from a corner as Portugal makes a bright start, pinning the Spanish back in their own area. Spain not being allowed to have things their own way as Portugal close down quickly and harrass the Iberian neighbours.

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2045: And the Spanish, in red, get the game underway.

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2005: Another gamble by Spanish coach Vicente del Bosque. He's chosen Alvaro Negredo to lead Spain's attack, relegating both Cesc Fabregas and Fernando Torres to the bench. Negredo has played only five minutes so far in a group win over Croatia. His inclusion means Spain's coach has foregone the unorthodox 4-6-0 formation and opted instead for a traditional striker. Spain's lineup is otherwise unchanged from the 2-0 quarterfinal win over France, while Portugal has made one change with striker Hugo Almeida replacing the injured Helder Postiga in attack. The winner will play either Germany or Italy in the final in Kiev on Sunday.

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2000: Tonight's lineups:

Portugal: Rui Patricio, Bruno Alves, Fabio Coentrao, Joao Pereira, Pepe, Joao Moutinho, Raul Meireles, Nani, Miguel Veloso, Hugo Almeida, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Spain: Iker Casillas, Jordi Alba, Alvaro Arbeloa, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, David Silva, Xavi, Alvaro Negredo.

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1945: TrevorHuggins1: Spain will probably do a good job of keeping Ronaldo quiet in open play. The danger is a rash tackle that gives him a dead-ball opportunity. (via Twitter).

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1930: gdunbarap: As usual at Euro 2012 in Donetsk, Roman Abramovich in the VIP box next to Metalist Kharkiv owner Oleksandr Yaroslavsky fo ... (via Twitter)

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1852: The Spain team bus is on its way to the Donbass Arena, driving through the sunny streets of Donetsk accompanied by motor bike outriders.

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1850: From AP reporter Paul Logothetis: "The Spanish FA says over 4,000 fans are expected to be at the Donbass Arena, more than double the amount who showed for the 2-0 quarterfinal victory over France. They will be expecting a better reception from the team after only captain Iker Casillas stayed out after France to thank them for making the long trip, something that drew criticism back in Spain. Two days after the win, Cesc Fabregas said: "It's true we should have showed more affection toward our fans, sometimes we're just under such pressure that ... we forget about the effort they make to come and support us. I'm sorry if that upset them, it won't happen again. Hopefully we can celebrate reaching the final with them on Wednesday."



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