Match: Germany vs. France
Result: 0-2 [Antoine Greizmann 45’+2 P, 75′]
France advances to the European Championship 2016 Final, with the match against Portugal to be played on Sunday, 10th of July, 2016, 9 PM stadium time.
Competition: European Championship 2016
Stadium: Stade Velodrome (Marseille)
Stade Velodrome, Marseille, France
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)
Neuer – Hector – Howedes – (C) Schweinsteiger [YC] (Sane)– Ozil [YC] – Draxler [YC] – Muller – Can [YC] (Gotze) – Boateng (Mustafi) – Kroos – Kimmich
(C) Lloris – Evra [YC] – Griezmann (Cabaye) – Payet (Kante [YC]) – Giroud (Gignac) – Matuidi – Pogba – Sissoko – Sagna – Koscielny – Umtiti
(C) denotes captaincy
[YC] denotes yellow card, [YR] denotes a second yellow to sending off, [RC] denotes straight red card
Today, the 7th of June, France and Germany met in the second semifinal match of Euros 2016. Germany has never lost a competitive match to France, holding a 6-1-0 record against Les Bleus. Germany started without key players Mats Hummels and Mario Gomez to suspension and injury respectively. France had no such issues, as their lineup set for the days match was the strongest possible. Thomas Muller started up top for Germany; however, German coach Joachim Low placing his trust in a forward that has never scored in the Euros is viewed with some trepidation. Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann was the French player to watch, as he is the competition’s top scorer and is nearing a decades old scoring record set by Michal Platini, also of France, a record recently equaled by Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal.
France started the match strongly, with a very clear intent to win. A very early break by Griezmann and Dimitri Payet set the tone for what looked to be a dominant 90 minutes from the French. Germany seemed to settle well, having most of the possession through the first quarter hour and testing the French on multiple occasions. Samuel Umtiti, a defender for Lyon and France who had only one previous appearance, was a rock at the back alongside the extremely experienced Arsenal centre-back Laurent Koscielny. France was formidable on the counter-attack, pressuring the unsure German defense time and again, through the pace and power of Pogba, Griezmann, and Payet. But as the first third of the match passed, Germany looked far more comfortable than the hosts ever did. As the game moved toward half-time, France was on the front foot. Giroud and Griezmann broke free and, though the former lacked the pace to outrun Howedes, there was a threat once more. France won a corner in the 46th minute, and a low, pacey ball was struck in towards Evra, being marked by the German captain Schweinsteiger, who won the ball – but not without cost. As he headed the ball away, it smashed down on his outstretched arm, and the referee awarded France a penalty. Griezmann buried it, sending the ball opposite of Neuer and raising his goal tally to five in the tournament. Germany went in at halftime trailing for the first time all tournament, with the scoreboard reading 1-0 to the hosts.
As the second half began, each side came out from the dressing room unchanged. Germany kicked off They showed a completely different side from the one that so bravely held off the French through the first half, but not for the better. With three Germans on yellow cards, there was a lack of belief and trust among the world champions, and most of the team looked as if they had never played a competitive match of football before. France always pressured, sending forward attack after attack, testing Neuer and company relentlessly. Draxler received the fourth German yellow in the 50th minute after a terrible challenge on Moussa Sissoko, who played on and finished the match without incident. Germany never truly settled into the second half. Ozil was the biggest threat, with none of his compatriots seriously looking to test the French defense. Umtiti, who had a solid first half, was the key to France’s defensive strength throughout the remainder of the match. With the substitution of Mustafi for Boateng in the 60th minute due to injury, Germany lost a key defender, which may have diminished any shred of belief that Deutcher fussball-bund had left. France scored a scrappy second goal in the 72nd minute, as Griezmann pounced on a poor clearance by Neuer and poked the ball between two sets of legs, into the back of the net, and sending the Germans packing.