Lamine Yamal wondergoal sends Spain into Euro 2024 final

Lamine Yamal wondergoal sends Spain into Euro 2024 final

Updated Jul. 9, 2024 5:29 p.m. ET

Of all the things Lamine Yamal has achieved before his 17th birthday, winning the European Championship will not be one of them.

But he might only have to wait until the day after it.

Yamal launched Spain's powerful comeback in Tuesday's Euro 2024 semifinal with a magnificent strike from outside the box, as his team surged into the final at the expense of France.

After 21 minutes and Spain trailing 1-0 to Randal Kolo Muani's eighth-minute header, Yamal, still 16 until Saturday, produced a moment that will long be remembered and replayed.


Collecting the ball from inside, Yamal took a touch, moved swiftly to his left, then drove his effort sweetly into the top corner of the France goal, leaving keeper Mike Maignan with no chance.

Spain will be a strong favorite when it takes on either England or the Netherlands with the trophy on the line in Berlin on Sunday.

It doesn't seem that long ago that Spain won this tournament in 2008, sparking off a glorious run that would see it also clinch the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 Euros. For the 2008 triumph, Yamal was still two weeks away from his first birthday.

Spain still needed more to get the job done, and got it from the excellent Dani Olmo, such a positive influence since Pedri went down injured in the quarterfinal and now sits top of the tournament's Golden Boot standings.

On 25 minutes, Olmo took a pair of brilliant touches in the box and raked a low drive across the face of goal. Defender Jules Kounde could do nothing to prevent himself from deflecting the ball into the net, and the goal was correctly awarded to Olmo.

Kylian Mbappé, playing without a mask for the first time since breaking his nose in France's first game of the tournament, made a strong start but was unable to make much headway thereafeter.

It was his fine ball that set up Kolo Muani for the opener, but despite playing against veterans Jesus Navas and then Nacho for most of the game, found things tough. A late break was the kind of opportunity the 25-year-old loves, but he could only blast his shot over Unai Simon's crossbar.

The teams' respective routes to the final could scarcely have been more different. Spain impressed mightily, powering its way through the group stage and a round of 16 thumping of Georgia, then showing extreme determination to beat Germany with a winner in the closing minutes of extra time.

France never found its offensive edge, and it showed again here. Head coach Didier Deschamps was left with little choice but to be bold, bringing on Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud and Bradley Barcola, but there was simply no way through, the same problem pretty much everyone has had against Spain.

When you take the most controlled midfield of Euro 2024, a gnarled backline that doesn't make mistakes, and a precocious teenager with magic at the tip of his toes, it is a formidable combination.

And, Spain hopes, a title-winning one.

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports. Follow him on Twitter @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the daily newsletter.

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