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Yamal's Historic Goal Propels Spain to Euro 2024 Final

Yamal's Historic Goal Propels Spain to Euro 2024 Finalillustration

Spain will compete for a record fourth after defeating France 2-1 in the semifinals on Tuesday.

France took the lead after just nine minutes, but two quick goals, including a remarkable strike by 16-year-old Lamine Yamal, changed the course of the match in Munich. Yamal became the youngest player to score in Euro history with a curling shot in the 21st minute, and Dani Olmo secured the victory.

Spain will face either the or England in the final on Sunday in Berlin, marking its first appearance in the final since winning the tournament in 2012.

"Win, win, win, and win. That was my goal, to have my birthday in Germany," said Yamal, who turns 17 on Saturday, the day before the final.

Widely regarded as the best team at Euro 2024, La Roja initially struggled after France's early goal.

Jesus Navas, who replaced the suspended Dani Carvajal at right-back, had difficulty against Kylian . Mbappe, playing without the mask he had worn since breaking his nose in France's opening match, assisted Randal Kolo Muani for the lead, marking his first assist of the tournament.

Despite being deflated by the early goal, Yamal brought Spain back into the match in the 21st minute with a stunning left-footed strike from around 30 yards. At 16 years and 362 days, Yamal is now the youngest player to score at either the Euros or the World Cup, surpassing Pele, who was 17 when he set the major tournament record at the 1958 World Cup.

Olmo added to France's troubles just as they were trying to recover. He maneuvered past Aurelien Tchouameni and forced Jules Kounde to score an own goal. UEFA credited Olmo with the goal as it was on target.

Olmo became the first Spanish player to score in three consecutive Euro matches. He scored in Spain's 4-1 win over Georgia in the round of 16 and in their 2-1 quarterfinal victory over Germany.

France struggled to create chances in the second half, with Theo Hernandez and Mbappe missing opportunities. Spain maintained possession and managed the clock until the final whistle.

"It's a very good team, we knew that, they proved it tonight even if we were able to open the scoring," France coach Didier Deschamps said. "They created difficulties for us as they controlled the game better than us, even if we kept going until the end."

Deschamps will face questions about his conservative tactics, especially after telling critics to "watch something else" if they found France "boring." Kolo Muani's goal against Spain was the only one France scored from open play during the tournament.

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