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EURO 2012 LIVE: Spain beats Portugal on pens
Question of the Day
2228: There’s a surprise. Xavi Hernandez is substituted. He’s had an average night by his extremely high standards. The Portuguese are bound to get a lift seeing him leave the pitch.
2225: Ronaldo gets another chance from a long-range free kick and is awarded a re-take after the ball strikes Arbeloa’s arm in the wall. He tries again, a bit closer this time _ but again the ball goes over. You’d expect more from Ronaldo from that range.
2219: Cynical kick by Bruno Alves into Fabregas’ back. You feel a red card could be coming out tonight. It’s getting niggly. Less than 15 minutes to go and neither side is pressing, perhaps mindful that a mistake now could mean elimination.
2215: Ronaldo gets a free kick outside the box but his shot sails over the bar.
2206: Given time and room, the Spanish look elegant and unbeatable. Squeezed and harried, they suddenly look ordinary. Their midfield is getting no space. Pereira is Portugal’s third defender to be booked when he stops Fabregas on the edge of the box with a shirt pull. But the ensuing free kick goes nowhere.
2204: Busquets booked for asking the ref to give Ronaldo a yellow card when the Portuguese star went down rather too easily in the area. Pepe goes into the book a few moments later. The ref is trying to assert himself. These two teams seem more than happy to kick chunks out of each other.
2201: Portugal really taking the game to Spain. They’re not hitting the target but are throwing everything at Spain here. When will the Spanish come out of their shell? They’re not managing to express themselves in the usual way.
By Tom Harris and Madhav Khandekar
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