Spain Pummels Russia to Reach European Final

Big second half keys 3-0 victory; Germany awaits on Sunday
By Chip Bayers,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2008 4:25 PM CDT
Spain's David Silva, right, celebrates scoring Spain's third goal past Russia's Igor Akinfeev during the semifinal match in Vienna at the Euro 2008 European Soccer Championships.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 7 more images

(Newser) – Spain scored three second-half goals today to beat Russia 3-0 and reach the European Championship final, giving the team a chance to shed its status as one of soccer's biggest underachievers. Xavi Hernandez, Dani Guiza and David Silva each scored to give the Spaniards a shot at their second European title when they play Germany in Vienna, Austria.

Spain, which won the 1964 European tournament, ended its run of five quarterfinal defeats by beating Italy in a penalty shootout Sunday. It confirmed its title aspirations with a penetrating passing attack on a slick surface in pouring rain against Russia. The Spaniards and Germans have not played a competitive match since a 1-1 draw in the 1994 World Cup. Overall, Germany has won eight of 19 meetings, with Spain taking five and six draws.