Griezmann double fires France into Euro final

Friday, 2016-07-08 12:58:38
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Antoine Griezmann celebrates after scoring a second goal for France. (Photo: Reuters)
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NDO – France will meet Portugal in the final of the 2016 Euro, scheduled for July 11, after Antoine Griezmann scored twice gifting the hosts a 2-0 win over world champions Germany in the semifinal round early on July 8.

It was the first time France defeated Germany in a competitive match since the 1958 World Cup, a drought that included defeats in the semi-finals of the 1982 and 1986 World Cups and the quarter-finals two years ago.

Griezmann seized the first scoring chance of the match with a cunning low shot after seven minutes of play, forcing goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to make a brilliant save.

Germany dominated possession of the ball in the remainder of the first half, creating a number of opportunities to open the scoring but were unable to finish. Shots-on-goal by Thomas Muller in the 14th minute and Bastian Schweinsteiger 12 minutes later proved not enough to beat French keeper Hugo Lloris.

Despite their prevalence, Joachim Loew’s side suddenly fell behind seconds before the break as Griezmann drove in a penalty after a needless handball by Germany captain Schweinsteiger in the box.

Inspired by the opener, France played a better game in the second half.

In the 72nd minute, Germany keeper Neuer deflected a Paul Pogba cross straight to Griezmann who sent it back past him into the net, sealing a commanding 2-0 victory for the host team.

The two goals against Germany solidified the Atletico Madrid striker’s lead in the race for this year’s top scorer title with six, three ahead of Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo.

France and Portugal will have three days off before meeting each other in the title match on July 11.

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