Fabregas hails Spanish ‘miracle’

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Spanish penalty hero Cesc Fabregas has hailed the ‘miracle’ of reaching another major tournament final.

Vicente del Bosque’s side booked their place in Sunday’s final after a 0-0 draw against Portugal, with Joao Moutinho and Bruno Alves missing from the spot before Fabregas struck the winner.

It means they now face Group C rivals Italy in the final, after the Azzurri shocked Joachim Loew’s Germany in the second semi-final last night.

"Being in another final is a miracle, it's very emotional," said Fabregas.

Del Bosque was forced to admit post-match that the match could have gone either way, with Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo missing a great opportunity to win the match for Portugal on the stroke of 90 minutes.

It wasn’t to be however, and after dominating for large periods in extra-time, Spain were more clinical from 12 yards, with only Xabi Alonso missing from the spot with his first effort.

“The players have played so many matches and they have to show their best in one more,” said the La Roja chief.

"It was a very even match but maybe we were a little better in extra time. They looked a bit tired, but there were few chances before that. It wasn't easy to get through their defence. They were superior when it came to defence and we didn't have that many opportunities so it was very balanced.

“In extra time it was slightly different and we had lots of luck with the penalties. I would like to express my congratulations to Portugal because they played a great tournament, but we were luckier this time."

For Portugal boss Paulo Bento, it’s back to the drawing board after falling short at the last four stage. Having missed chances in 90 minutes, defeat was a difficult pill to swallow.

"I think we were the better team but we couldn't take our chances,” concluded Bento.

"Spain were stronger in extra time but we could have won it in the first 90 minutes because we were very good in the first half and at the end of the second half. If I had to choose a way of losing I wouldn't choose this one but you have to lose some way.”

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