EURO 2016: France reach final after hard fought 2-0 victory over Germany
France overcame Germany in 90 minutes as two costly mistakes knocked out Joachim Loew’s side from the tournament. Griezmann converted a penalty just on halftime after a handball by Schweinsteiger and toe-poked the second after a mistake by Manuel Neuer to seal the game.
Germany XI: Neuer; Can, Boateng, Höwedes, Hector; Kroos, Schweinsteiger; Kimmich, Özil, Draxler; Müller.
France XI: Lloris; Sagna, Koscielny, Umtiti, Evra; Pogba, Matuidi; Sissoko, Griezmann, Payet; Giroud.
Germany came into the game with three first team players ruled out. Sami Khedira and Mario Gomez picked up injuries in the previous game and Mats Hummels was suspended. Emre Can got the nod in midfield, with Howedes filling the centre back role and Draxler coming in for Gomez.
France named an unchanged side and Deschamps decided to go with Samuel Umititi despite Rami being fit. Sissoko also started with N’golo Kante only making the bench.
The game started with great fervor. France looked the more threatening and Girezmann should have opened the scoring in the 7th minute. He and Matuidi combined brilliantly and the former side stepped two defenders but his placed effort did not have enough power on it and Neuer sprawled across to make the save.
From then on it was all Germany, for a period of 25-30 minutes. Muller had the first effort for Germany after his stretched effort was wide of the post. Next Schweinsteiger had a curling effort saved acrobatically by Lloris.
But despite all of Germany’s dominance France always looked dangerous on the break. Just on the cusp of halftime , it all went horribly wrong for the Germans. From a French corner, Schweinsteiger in an attempt to block a header handled in the area and the referee pointed to the spot.
Antoine Griezmann stepped up and gave France the lead, sending Neuer the wrong way.
France once again came out all guns blazing in the second half with Giroud missing a great chance to test Neuer, delaying his shot with Boateng getting the block in. Germany started to control possession looking for a way back into the game.
Jerome Boateng suffered an injury and had to be subbed off, with Shkodran Mustafi coming on. France continued to sit deep as Germany struggled to break them down. To shore things up N’Golo Kante also came on for Dimitri Payet.
In the 71st minute, another moment of madness from the German defence gifted France the second goal. First, they lost the ball in their own box after careless passing and next Neuer tipped the ball right into the path of Griezmann from Pogba’s cross who poked home for his 6th goal of the tournament.
Germany could have and should have gotten a goal back. First Joshua Kimmich's wonderful effort hit the post and then Mustafi blazed over from point-blank range. Germany kept creating chances but it wasn’t to be their day as the World Champions were knocked out of the tournament.
It will be France vs Portugal in the finals