Euro 2016: Griezmann brace sends Germany packing

Euro 2016 semi-final
France
vs Germany (2-0)

France advances into the grand final of the European Championship.

Euro 2016 hosts France has won their first victory against Germany in a major tournament since 1958 to send Die Mannaschaft packing their bags.

Antoine Griezmann’s goals on both sides of the break were enough for Les Blues to set up a final meet against Portugal, who had eliminated Wales with a similar scoreline.

In a night of feverish emotions, the Atletico Madrid striker scored from the spot right on half-time. The penalty was conceded to France when Bastian Schweinsteiger was penalised for handball by Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli as he engaged Patrice Evra in an aerial battle.

Germany started to pressure France but Griezmann won his team the two goal-cushion with 18 minutes left, as he turned in from close range after keeper Manuel Neuer could only half-clear Paul Pogba’s cross.

His two goals bring his goal tally in the tournament up to six, three ahead of his countrymen Olivier Giroud and Dimitri Payet and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani.

He had made the difference when France trailed 1-0 against the Republic of Ireland in the Round of 16, scoring a separate brace that pushes him closer to the bracket of the world’s top players.

On the other hand, Germany’s defeat denies them the double of holding the European Championship and World Cup at the same time, an honour only held by France and Spain.

To add insult to injury, Germany had always been a nemesis of major tournament hosts. Their team had defeated six hosts before this, including the memorable 7-1 demolishing of Brazil in the 2014 World Cup.

But with their strength in going forward and staving off pressure, France proved that they were capable enough to escape this curse, and now has been rewarded for a potentially easy final against Portugal.

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