Yamal wonder goal helps Spain beat France to reach Euros final

A sensational goal from 16-year-old phenomenon Lamine Yamal helped Spain come from behind to beat France 2-1 in Munich and claim their place in the final of Euro 2024.

Yamal became the youngest player to score at a European Championship or World Cup, beating the record previously held by Brazil legend Pele, when he shifted the ball onto his left foot and curled a stunning shot in off the post from 25 yards in a pulsating first half.

Earlier, France had gone in front when Randal Kolo Muani headed in a sumptuous cross by Kylian Mbappe, playing without a mask having recovered from his broken nose suffered earlier in the tournament.

Spain have won all of their Euro 2024 games so far
Dani Olmo’s goal took him joint-top of the Euro 2024 scoring charts on three goals

But Yamal’s brilliant strike tilted the momentum of the tie in Spain’s favour and the comeback was complete soon afterwards when Dani Olmo fired a low shot into the net off defender Jules Kounde, following an excellent piece of control in the France box.

France tried to muster a response in the second half but struggled to break down Luis de la Fuente’s side, with Mbappe wastefully firing their best opportunity over the bar in the closing stages.

Inspired by the extraordinary Yamal, this formidable Spain outfit will now face the winner of England’s semi-final against Netherlands in Sunday’s final having become the first side to win six consecutive games in European Championship history.

It is Yamal, though, scorer of the dazzling equalising goal, who has made the biggest mark in the record books. He is sure to be key in deciding whether Spain take home their third European Championship title on Sunday.

Lamine is doing things which give hints that he might be a great of sport,” said De la Fuente. “But we need to remain prudent.

“We have to help him by keeping his feet on the ground and developing him in the best way. That means calm and tranquillity. In Ancient Rome, when they talked about Caesar, they would say: ‘Remember, he’s mortal!'”

On reaching the final, Yamal added: “Getting to the final is really special. I need to help my team and that’s what I tried to do today. I was really happy after the final whistle. It’s the dream come true.

“When you reach the final, you have to play against the very best. We’ll wait and see who we get.”

Morata’s freak collision

Spain striker Alvaro Morata appeared to hurt his knee when a security guard slipped and collided with him during the post-match celebrations.

Morata was wincing as he made his way off the pitch, raising doubts about his availability for Sunday’s final, but Luis de la Fuente is hopeful that he will be fine to feature.

“Alvaro, we have to wait and see tomorrow,” the Spain boss said in his press conference. “We believe it’s nothing. It hurts but we think it’s nothing.”

In pictures: Yamal’s record-breaking stunner

Yamal unleashes his shot from outside the France box
Yamal unleashes his shot from outside the France box

Spain's Lamine Yamal, center, scores his side's first goal during a semifinal match between Spain and France at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Yamal’s effort curled towards the far corner

France goalkeeper Mike Maignan fails to stop Spain's first goal scored by Spain's Lamine Yamal during a semifinal match between Spain and France at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
France goalkeeper Mike Maignan can’t prevent the shot from dropping in

Spain's Lamine Yamal celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during a semifinal match between Spain and France at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Yamal sprints towards the dugout to celebrate

Yamal knee-slides in front of the Spain dugout
Yamal knee-slides in front of the Spain dugout

Yamal is mobbed by his team-mates in celebration
Yamal is mobbed by his team-mates in celebration

skysports lamine yamal spain 6622484

I was aiming for exactly the top corner where my shot went in and that was a feeling of pure elation. I try not to think too much about what’s going on. I just want to enjoy myself and help the team. I came here to win all the matches so that I could celebrate my birthday here in Germany with all my team-mates!

Lamine Yamal on his stunning goal

Analysis: Yamal caps dazzling tournament

Sky Sports’ Nick Wright:

As if even playing at a European Championship at the age of 16 was not impressive enough. As if being the player with the most assists at the tournament was not impressive enough. Lamine Yamal continues to rip up the record books. This was something else.

Spain had been stunned by France’s early goal, Randal Kolo Muani’s header leading to recriminations among their defenders. But one player, the youngest player on the pitch, the youngest player to ever to step on a pitch at a European Championship, kept his cool.

Ten youngest scorers at the Euros…

  • Lamine Yamal – 16 years 362 days (Spain 2-1 France, July 9 2024)
  • Johan Vonlanthen – 18 years 141 days (Switzerland 1-3 France, June 21 2004)
  • Wayne Rooney – 18 years 237 days (England 3-0 Switzerland, June 17 2004)
  • Renato Sanches – 18 years 317 days (Poland 1-1 Portugal, 3-5 penalties, June 30 2016)
  • Dragan Stojkovic – 19 days 108 days (France 3-2 Yugoslavia, June 19 1984)
  • Arda Guler – 19 years 114 days (Turkey 3-1 Georgia, June 18 2024)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo – 19 years 128 days (Portugal 1-2 Greece, June 12 2004)
  • Ferenc Bene – 19 years 183 days (Spain 2-1 Hungary, June 17 1964)
  • Cristian Chivu – 19 years 238 days (England 2-3 Romania, June 20 2000)
  • Patrick Kluivert – 19 years 353 days (Netherlands 1-4 England, June 18 1996)

His goal, scored only 13 minutes after falling behind, was a jaw-dropping moment as he shimmied right then went the other way before unleashing a perfect, left-footed strike beyond the reach of Mike Maignan and into the net off the post.

He was not done there. Within a few minutes of his goal, Yamal was playing his part in Spain’s second, again getting on the ball and taking responsibility, his incisive reverse pass releasing Dani Olmo, who, within a few seconds, had Spain celebrating again.

If Yamal was not already a superstar, then he is now. As Oscar Lopez, one of his former coaches in Barcelona’s academy, put it by text message after the game: “He has no ceiling.”

‘Logic-defying’ Lamine Yamal: The story of Spain’s Euro 2024 sensation

Messi, Maradona and now Yamal?

Get the full story on the extraordinary rise of Spain’s 16-year-old superstar in our exclusive Next Up feature, including insight from his Barcelona coaches.

Yamal: Most important is to win the final

Player of the match Lamine Yamal, who turns 17 on Saturday, said: “I’m very happy to have made it to the final. Now the most important thing is to win it.

“We were in a difficult moment. You wouldn’t expect a goal so soon, but I wanted to put it in where it went in, and I’m very happy.

“I try not to think too much, enjoy it and help the team and if it works out like this, I’m happy and content with the victory.

“I want to win, win and win. I’ll celebrate my birthday here in Germany with my team.”

Spain's Lamine Yamal, left, and Kylian Mbappe of France compete for the ball during a semifinal match between Spain and France at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Yamal vies for the ball with Kylian Mbappe

Dani Olmo, scorer of Spain’s second goal, said: “There is one step left. It is unbelievable to be in the final.

“It doesn’t matter who scored my goal. It was important for the team. We deserve to be in this final. We are a step away from glory.

“It was unfortunate to fall a goal behind but we did not give up. Then Lamine scored an absolutely unbelievable goal. It doesn’t matter who we have in the final.”

Deschamps admits: Spain were superior

France boss Didier Deschamps said: “Spain proved tonight that they are a very good team.

“We were fortunate to open the scoring, but they caused us problems because they were superior in terms of control.

“Tonight they showed all their qualities. We were perhaps a little less fresh, which led to some technical waste, particularly in the construction of the game. We didn’t push forward often enough.”

Stats: Story of the match

Who else reaches the final?

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