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Griezmann Brace Lift Hosts France Into Euro 2016 Final As They Beat World Champions Germany 2-0

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Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann scored twice to send hosts France into the Euro 2016 final by beating world champions Germany 2-0 here on Thursday.

It was the first time for France to play in last four of a major tournament and enter a final since they raised the Euro 2000 trophy.


Griezmann, 25, has scored six goals in Euro 2016 to be the top favorite for the Golden Boot. He was voted as the Man of the Match.


His first goal came in the last second of the first half from the spot. German midfielder and captain Bastian Schweinsteiger made a silly move in the 46th minute when he raised his right arm in the box to handle French defender Patrice Evra’s header on the last corner kick.

Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli pointed to the spot and showed a yellow card. German midfielder Mesut Ozil was also booked for his protest.

Griezmann stepped up coolly to make the 1-0 lead for France by sending German keeper Manuel Neuer the wrong way.


The second goal came in the 72nd minute when a mistake from German defender Joshua Kimmich in the box was pounced upon by French midfielder Paul Pogba who beat substitute defender Shkodran Mustafi with clever footwork. Although the cross was parried by Neuer, Griezmann was first on the scene to prod home his sixth goal of the tournament.


German coach Joachim Low stuck with the 4-2-3-1 formation. Lone forward Mario Gomez had been ruled out with a torn hamstring, while Sami Khedira also missed out through injury and Mats Hummels was suspended with the second yellow card. Schweinsteiger was fit to the starting line-up, as was Julian Draxler, while midfielder Emre Can came in for his first appearance in the tournament. Thomas Muller was deployed as the lone striker as he continued his search for his first goal.


France coach Didier Deschamps stuck with the same team that thumped Iceland 5-2 in the quarterfinals.  Samuel Umtiti kept his place alongside Laurent Koscielny ahead of Adil Rami in the heart of defence, while Moussa Sissoko was preferred to N’Golo Kante in midfield. The 4-2-3-1 formation seemed to suit the French side.

The tough duel was a quite purposeful match from both sides. Neither seemed willing to sit back and were looking to gain the edge from the very beginning.

Although Germany boasted 68 percent of ball possession but France looked more effective.

France will face Portugal, who beat Wales 2-0 last night, in the final in Saint Denis on July 10.

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