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Marcosa Senna of Spain tries to make a shot at German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann in Euro 2008 final
© dpa - Bildfunk
Euro 2008: Germany fall at final hurdle

June 30, 2008

Spain are the new champions of Europe. A 1-0 victory over Germany in Vienna gave them their first title in 44 years.

A single first-half goal by Fernando Torres (33.) secured a deserved win for the Spanish against a largely disappointing German side seeking their first tournament win since taking Eurp 96.

Spain dominant

Germany opened brightly and just three minutes in Bastian Schweinsteiger won possession and put Miroslav Klose in with a half-chance he was unable to expolit. But Spain soon found their rythmn, and Germany found themselves increasingly on the back foot.

In the 14th minute, Christoph Metzelder got on the wrong end of a ball from Iniesta, forcing a great save out of his own keeper, Jens Lehmann. Soon after, a high-speed Spanish counterattack ended with Torres headed a cross from Fabregas against the post, with Lehmann beaten on this occasion.

Torres breaks deadlock

The Spanish were warming to their task, and the German defence was finding it increasingly hard to deal with them. In the 33rd minute, Fabregas again fed the ball through and Torres exploited a misunderstanding between a hesitant Philipp Lahm and the onrushing Lehmann to squeeze behind the defender and clip the ball over the keeper and into the net.

Germany tried to up the pace after that, but were for the most part held in check by a technically impressive Spanish side.

German pressure

The Germans started the second half as they had the first, but the increase in tempo led to few concrete chances. Captain Michael Ballack, who survived a late injury scare to play the full 90 minutes, steered a shot narrowly wide of the Spanish goal on the hour mark.

For their part, Spain continued to look by far the more likely to score on the counter, but they were unable to net the second goal that would have let them breathe more easily. Sergio Ramos (67.), Andres Iniesta (68.) and Marcos Senna (82.) failed to convert their most prominent chances.

In a tournament of late goals, a German equaliser could never be ruled out, but there was to be no unlikely twist to this game. For the third time, after 1976 and 1992, Germany had to be content with runners-up medals at the European Championships.

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© 2008 DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga GmbH
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