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Thursday, July 7, 2016


"If France had come as one country the way England did, we'd have beaten them but they came with the African Union", Iceland coach.

France’s Antoine Griezmann and his teammates celebrated his second goal of the match against Germany.CreditJ

MARSEILLE, France — Antoine Griezmann scored twice and France moved a step closer to winning another major soccer championship on home soil on Thursday, defeating Germany, 2-0, in a pulsating European Championships semifinal at the Stade Velodrome.

Griezmann scored both of France’s goals: a penalty kick on the stroke of halftime, awarded for a handball on Germany’s captain Bastian Schweinsteiger, and a stabbing toe poke in the 73rd minute after a poor clearance by goalkeeper Manuel Neuer dropped the ball at Griezmann’s feet in the goal mouth.
France will play Portugal in the final on Sunday outside Paris, looking to add another trophy on home soil to its triumphs at the 1984 European Championships and the 1998 World Cup. In both of those title runs, the French passed through Marseille on the way to the final. In 1998, they were captained by their current coach, Didier Deschamps.
The defeat was a bitter blow for Germany, the defending World Cup champion, which played without two injured starters (Mario Gomez and Sami Khedira) and a third who was suspended (Mats Hummels), and then lost yet another key player — central defender Jérôme Boateng — to a hamstring injury early in the second half.
The Germans dominated France for much of the first half only to be stunned just before the break when Schweinsteiger was called for a handball after he rose with his arms raised to contest a header in his own penalty area.
Griezmann coolly slotted the penalty past Neuer to give France the lead, then doubled it in the second half. The two goals gave him six for the tournament — making him the event’s top scorer — and five in France’s three games in the knockout rounds.

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