Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Spain vs Portugal @ 20:45

Spain and Portugal square off against each other tonight in the semi-finals of Euro 2012.

Holders Spain find neighbours Portugal barring their path to a third successive major final when the teams square off in the first UEFA EURO 2012 semi-final in Donetsk.

• Not since West Germany in the 1970s has a European team achieved a hat-trick of successive final appearances but Spain are just one win away from matching that feat after their triumphs at UEFA EURO 2008 and the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Vicente del Bosque's men have a more significant piece of history in their sights, though, as they bid to become the first team to retain the Henri Delaunay Cup.

• Portugal will have other ideas as they look to return to the final, eight years after their 2004 defeat by Greece. Still seeking their first major trophy, they suffered elimination by Spain in the last 16 of the 2010 World Cup but emphatically triumphed in the team's most recent meeting and now have the perfect opportunity for revenge against opponents they knocked out of UEFA EURO 2004.

Head-to-head record

• The Iberian rivals first met in Madrid in December 1921, Spain prevailing 3-1. They have largely held the upper hand ever since, with a record against Portugal of P34 W15 D12 L7 F70 A43.
• Spain enjoyed an emphatic victory against their neighbours in 1934 World Cup qualifying, winning 9-0 in Madrid prior to a 2-1 success in Lisbon. That nine-goal reverse remains Portugal's second heaviest defeat.
• Portugal were also undone by Spain in 1950 World Cup qualifying, succumbing 5-1 away before a 2-2 home draw.

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