Men's Team

Sagna’s France into Euro 2016 final

Sagna’s France into Euro 2016 final
France advance to the final of Euro 2016 following a 2-0 win over Germany in Marseille.

Antoine Griezmann gave the hosts the lead from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time and he scored again with 20 minutes remaining to book a meeting with Portugal on Sunday evening.

Didier Deschamps named an unchanged side from the one which finally ended the Icelandic dream at the quarter final stage on Sunday night.

That meant Bacary Sagna remained an ever-present in the France line-up, while Eliaquim Mangala had to be content with a place on the bench following his late tournament debut cameo in that 5-2 victory over Iceland.

N’golo Kante was once again available for selection following his suspension but Deschamps opted to stick with the same system used on Sunday which enabled Griezmann to play centrally in behind Olivier Giroud rather than out on the wing.

The hosts made a bright start and very nearly took a seventh-minute lead when Griezmann clipped a shot towards the bottom corner but Manuel Neuer was there to dig it out with a strong left paw.

That chance seemed to rouse the Germans from their slumber as they quickly grew into the game and began to wrestle control of the balance of play, with Thomas Muller sweeping wide a decent opportunity for his first goal of the tournament.

HOSTS: French faithful sing loud and proud
HOSTS: French faithful sing loud and proud

Germany continued to dominate for the remainder of the half as France struggled to get into the kind of passing rhythm they had enjoyed in the early minutes but the world champions were unable to fashion any further meaningful goalscoring chances and they were made to pay.

It was stoppage time at the end of the first period when Schweinsteiger and Patrice Evra rose to contest a header and the referee, surprisingly, blew for a penalty, adjudging that the German midfielder handled the ball after the former United full-back had glanced on the cross.

Griezmann took responsibility for the spot kick and coolly dispatched to give France the lead against the run of play with the last kick of the half.

The second period began, like the first, with France on top, clearly buoyed by their perfectly-timed opener.

Germany never really looked like breaking down the home side and they found themselves chasing an unassailable lead when Griezmann bagged his second of the night, and sixth of the tournament, poking home from close range.

France now face a Portugal side who overcame Wales on Wednesday night in Sunday night’s final at the Stade de France.

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