Spain Faces France with Spot in Euro 2024 Final on the Line

(COMBO) This combination of pictures created on July 7, 2024 shows Spain's forward #07 Alvaro Morata (L) ahead of the UEFA Euro 2024 round of 16 football match between Spain and Georgia at the Cologne Stadium in Cologne on June 30, 2024; and France's forward #10 Kylian Mbappe during the UEFA Euro 2024 quarter-final football match between Portugal and France at the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg on July 5, 2024. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI and PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP)
(COMBO) This combination of pictures created on July 7, 2024 shows Spain's forward #07 Alvaro Morata (L) ahead of the UEFA Euro 2024 round of 16 football match between Spain and Georgia at the Cologne Stadium in Cologne on June 30, 2024; and France's forward #10 Kylian Mbappe during the UEFA Euro 2024 quarter-final football match between Portugal and France at the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg on July 5, 2024. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI and PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP)
TT

Spain Faces France with Spot in Euro 2024 Final on the Line

(COMBO) This combination of pictures created on July 7, 2024 shows Spain's forward #07 Alvaro Morata (L) ahead of the UEFA Euro 2024 round of 16 football match between Spain and Georgia at the Cologne Stadium in Cologne on June 30, 2024; and France's forward #10 Kylian Mbappe during the UEFA Euro 2024 quarter-final football match between Portugal and France at the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg on July 5, 2024. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI and PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP)
(COMBO) This combination of pictures created on July 7, 2024 shows Spain's forward #07 Alvaro Morata (L) ahead of the UEFA Euro 2024 round of 16 football match between Spain and Georgia at the Cologne Stadium in Cologne on June 30, 2024; and France's forward #10 Kylian Mbappe during the UEFA Euro 2024 quarter-final football match between Portugal and France at the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg on July 5, 2024. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI and PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP)

Spain and France meet in the semifinals of the European Championship on Tuesday. The match pits one of the highest-scoring teams at the tournament against one of the lowest as France’s star forward Kylian Mbappé has struggled to get to grips with his mask. Kickoff is at 9 p.m. local time in Munich. According to The Associated Press, here’s what to know about the match:
Match facts — The winner will play England or the Netherlands in the final on Sunday in Berlin. Their semifinal is on Wednesday.
— Spain and France's quarterfinals both went to extra time. Substitute Mikel Merino’s game-winning goal in the last minute of extra time handed Spain a 2-1 victory over host nation Germany, while France needed penalties to see off Portugal after the match ended goalless.
— No France player has scored from open play at Euro 2024. The French have only scored through two own goals and a penalty from Mbappé. Spain has netted 11 times.
— Mbappé, who will be facing several of his new Real Madrid teammates, will again be wearing a protective mask after sustaining a broken nose in France’s group opener against Austria.
— Spain, which is chasing a record fourth European Championship title, has been perfect in Germany. It was the only team to win all its group stage matches, while France could only muster draws against Poland and the Netherlands after a narrow win over Austria.
Team news — Spain paid the price for its dramatic win over Germany and a number of players will miss the semifinal — and in some cases the final should La Roja get there — because of suspension or injury.
— Midfielder Pedri had to come off in the eighth minute against Germany with a knee injury following a hefty challenge from Toni Kroos and has been ruled out of the rest of Euro 2024. He will again be replaced by Dani Olmo — who came on for the 21-year-old and went on to score the opener as well as set up Merino’s winner.
— Dani Carvajal was sent off late in extra time for a second yellow card and will be suspended against France, as will fellow defender Robin le Normand after picking up another booking. Veteran Jesús Navas is likely to be tasked with marking Mbappé.
— France coach Didier Deschamps has no injury problems as Marcus Thuram returned to training on Sunday, alleviating concerns he could miss the semifinal after taking a blow to his thigh at the end of the match against Portugal.
By the numbers — Spain and France have only conceded three goals between them. The only time France goalkeeper Mike Maignan had to pick the ball out of his net was Poland's retaken penalty in the group stage, while Spain conceded against Georgia and Germany.
— The teams have met 36 times, with Spain winning 16 to France’s 13 — including five of the past eight.
— This is Spain’s sixth European Championship semifinal. It has only once failed to advance to the trophy match, losing on penalties to eventual champion Italy at Euro 2020.
— France has reached the semifinals on five previous occasions, winning three.
— France has reached the final in three of last four major tournaments, losing 1-0 after extra time to Portugal at Euro 2016 and to Argentina on penalties in the 2022 World Cup, but beating Croatia to claim its second world title in 2018.
What they’re saying “We’re in the semifinals and it’s something we shouldn’t take for granted, even if we may be used to it recently. Now we go to win it.” — France coach Didier Deschamps.
“Very few people gave us a chance and staying under the radar helped us start the tournament with confidence. Spain is a team to respect. I knew we had a great team and that’s how it turned out.” — Spain defender Marc Cucurella.
“It’s natural for him. He has this gift of carrying the team, the group. He gives ideas, advice to the players. He was born for that. He was born to pull the group up.” — France striker Randal Kolo Muani on Mbappé’s captaincy.
“My players are insatiable. There’s always room for improvement, of course, but we can’t question their pride, quality and commitment.” — Spain coach Luis de la Fuente.



Denmark Coach Steps Down Ahead of 2026 World Cup Qualifying

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Euro 2024 - Round of 16 - Germany v Denmark - Dortmund BVB Stadion, Dortmund, Germany - June 29, 2024 Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand looks dejected after the match REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Euro 2024 - Round of 16 - Germany v Denmark - Dortmund BVB Stadion, Dortmund, Germany - June 29, 2024 Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand looks dejected after the match REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo
TT

Denmark Coach Steps Down Ahead of 2026 World Cup Qualifying

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Euro 2024 - Round of 16 - Germany v Denmark - Dortmund BVB Stadion, Dortmund, Germany - June 29, 2024 Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand looks dejected after the match REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Euro 2024 - Round of 16 - Germany v Denmark - Dortmund BVB Stadion, Dortmund, Germany - June 29, 2024 Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand looks dejected after the match REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand decided to leave the job Friday and not take the team into qualifying for the 2026 World Cup.
According to The Associated Press, Hjulmand said in a statement that the team needed new energy after the European Championship, where Denmark was eliminated in the round of 16 by Germany after a game that featured one of the tournament's most controversial refereeing decisions.
The 52-year-old coach took Denmark to the semifinals of the previous Euros played in 2021 — when he was widely lauded at home for the way he dealt with the emotional aftermath of midfielder Christian Eriksen suffering cardiac arrest during the team's opening game. He also led the team to the 2022 World Cup where the Danes were eliminated in the group stage.
The Danish soccer federation said it promoted Hjulmand’s assistant coach Morten Wieghorst to take charge for the Nations League program through November. Denmark is in a top-tier group with European champion Spain, Switzerland and Serbia.
At Euro 2024, Denmark drew all three group games against England, Slovenia and Serbia.
Against host Germany the game was stopped for 25 minutes during a severe lightning storm, then swung on back-to-back video decisions early in the second half of a 2-0 loss. A goal by Joachim Andersen was disallowed for a marginal offside call before a penalty was awarded against the defender for a handball when a cross struck his arm.