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EURO 2012: 27 June 2012: Open Thread

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And we're down to three days. Yes, just three days of EURO 2012 football are left - two Semi-Finals, that will be played today and tomorrow, and the Final, played on 1 July.

Portugal and Spain will kick the semis off in what has be dubbed by many as a mini-clasico because it features three Real Madrid players in the Portugal side, and seven Barcelona and five Real Madrid player in the Spain side.

After topping Group C with two wins and a draw Spain were pitted against France in the Quarter-Finals. Spain controlled the game almost throughout and deservedly won by the score of 2-0 with both goals surprisingly coming from Spain's newest centurion Xabi Alonso. Spain's defense, that has been struggling at times, performed admirably against France's numerous attacking threats but today Portugal will arguably be their biggest challenge of the competition.

Portugal finished second in Group B with two wins and a loss, and faced the Czech Republic in the Quarter-Finals. The Czechs didn't really have any chance in this game as Portugal easily outplayed them. Somehow only one goal was scored in Petr Cech's net, courtesy of Cristiano Ronaldo, but ultimately that was enough for Portugal to advance.

The match will be refereed by Cüneyt Çakır, the Turkish referee that officiated the Champions League Semi-Final 2nd leg between FC Barcelona and Chelsea FC. The kickoff is at 8:45pm CET.


Spain: Casillas; Arbeloa, Ramos, Piqué, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Xabi Alonso, Xavi, Iniesta, Silva, Negredo

Portugal: Rui Patricio: Pereira, Pepe, Bruno Alves, Coentrão; Veloso, Meireles, Moutinho, Nani, Cristiano Ronaldo, Almeida

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