Paula Vilaplana, euronews: “Hello and welcome to Euro 2016. We’re a step closer to finding out who will win the European Championships after eight teams locked horns in the quarter-finals. Four teams are left in the running but only one will succeed two-time winner Spain. Here are the contenders to lift the trophy.”
France swept emphatically into the semi-finals and brought Iceland’s fairytale run to a crushing halt as Olivier Giroud scored twice in a 5-2 win at the Stade de France on Sunday.
Paul Pogba, Dimitri Payet and Antoine Griezmann were also on target to help les Bleus reach the last four of a of a European Championship for the first time since they lifted the trophy in 2000.
France will next lock horns with Germany who are currently facing an injury crisis. Holding midfielder Sami Khedira and striker Mario Gomez have been ruled out for rest of the tournament following muscular injuries suffered against Italy in the quarter-finals.
Germany coach Joachim Loew will also have to make do without Mats Hummels who is suspended.
#EURO2016 France hammer Iceland to book Germany showdown
woodm7</a> <a href="https://t.co/rd3SkReUC4">https://t.co/rd3SkReUC4</a> <a href="https://t.co/suOzQ5NqWV">pic.twitter.com/suOzQ5NqWV</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FRAISL?src=hash">#FRAISL</a></p>— AFP news agency (AFP) 3 July 2016
Portugal v Wales
Wales have been one of the big surprises of the tournament, topping a group including neighbours England and dumping out one of the favourites Belgium in the quarter-finals.
Chris Coleman’s biggest selection dilemma ahead of the Portugal game will be seeing how to replace influential midfielder Aaron Ramsey – who has scored one goal and contributed four assists – and centre back Ben Davies.
Both will miss the match in Lyon through suspension, but Coleman told journalists that he had enough strength in depth, team togetherness and tactical ability to overcome the setback.
Portugal, who have been one of the most enigmatic teams in France, have some of the tournament’s most gifted players, including Cristiano Ronaldo, and a clear attacking philosophy yet all five of their games have been drawn after 90 minutes, two of them goalless.
Germany outlasts Italy in dramatic penalty shootout
The Italian players returned home to a heroes’ welcome after their performance at the Euro 2016 finals in France.
Gianluigi Buffon’s team-mates lost 6-5 to Germany on penalties after a 1-1 draw in Bordeaux.
The shootout featured seven misses with some near-farcical spot kicks and was a complete contrast to the tense, tactical and highly-disciplined 120 minutes of football that preceded it.
Jonas Hector fired home the winning penalty after Matteo Darmian missed for Italy who should be proud of their Euro 2016 performance.
La squadra azzurra, who were bidding to win a first European Championships title since 1968, opened their campaign with an impressive victory over Belgium before knocking out defending champions Spain in the round of 16.
All eyes on Griezmann
Antoine Griezmann scored his fourth goal as France overcame Iceland 5-2 to progress to the semifinal.
His deadly display of finishing in the last-16 win over the Republic of Ireland was followed by yet another flawless display against Iceland. The Atletico Madrid winger found the back of the net and registered another assist.
France national team coach Didier Deschamps was quick to praise Antoine Griezmann and will be hoping to see more of the same when Les Bleus take on rivals Germany for a place in the final.
UEFA EURO 2016 (@UEFAEURO) 4 July 2016
Paula Vilaplana, euronews: “This tournament has had plenty of eye-catching moments but my personal favourite has to be Iceland’s magical run. Lars Lagerback’s men should be extremely proud of their achievements and the impact of their fans will not be forgotten. We’ll leave you with these images but we’ll be back on Tuesday for another edition of Euro 2016. See you then.”
10,000 Icelanders doing the synchronized Viking clap after losing to France— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) 4 July 2016