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Two goals in four minutes have Spain up on France at halftime


Two goals in four minutes by Spain turned the first 45 minutes on its ear as La Roja lead France 2-1 at halftime of their UEFA Euro 2024 semifinal from Munich.

Randal Kolo Muani opened the scoring before a Lamine Yamal golazo tied the game and Dani Olmo put Spain ahead in the 25th.

Spain manager Luis de la Fuente was forced into three changes to the starting XI from the win over Germany.

After a hard challenge from Toni Kroos, Pedri exited the Germany match early and later tests ruled him out for the rest of the tournament with a knee injury. Olmo came on as a substitute for Pedri on Friday and kept his place in the starting XI.

Booking accumulation bans kept Robin Le Normand and Dani Carvajal out of the lineup with Nacho and Jesus Navas coming in, respectively. At 38, Navas is Spain's oldest outfield player and the oldest outfield player to compete in the last four World Cups or Euros.

France gaffer Didier Deschamps made only one change from the team that beat Portugal on penalties with Ousmane Dembele starting in place of the disappointing Antoine Griezmann.

Spain had the best chance of the early going. The tournament's assists leader, Yamal, should have added to his tally in the fifth. The 16-year-old Barcelona winger sent in a delightful cross to the far post that was met by Fabian Ruiz, but his header was poor and didn't trouble Mike Maignan. Yamal stayed on three assists.

While La Roja didn't cash their early chance, France did. Minutes after Navas did well to race across the pitch to snuff out a Kylian Mbappe move, he played him onside in the eighth. That allowed the Real Madrid forward to sent a cross across the face of goal for former Paris Saint-Germain teammate Kolo Muani to leap over Ruiz and head past Unai Simon.

In the 19th, Mbappe went at Navas again. Making room for himself inside the area, he unleashed a powerful shot that Nacho blocked before it could reach Simon.

Only two minutes later, it was magic from Yamal. After it appeared Les Bleus had snuffed out the danger, Yamal latched onto the ball just outside the area and beat Maignan with an outrageous left-footed effort for one of the goals of the tournament to tie things at 1-1. Already the youngest player to ever compete in a Euro, Yamal became the youngest-ever goal scorer with the marker.

The goal turned the tide of the match and La Roja were ahead minutes later.

Picking up the ball inside the area, Olmo danced around Aurelien Tchouameni and hammered a shot at net. While it appeared that the ball would beat Maignan, it was put over the line by Kounde and officially awarded as an own goal in the 25th. By the end of the half, the goal was awarded to Olmo, giving him three on the tournament to equal the lead in the Golden Boot race.

France was absolutely shell-shocked.

Both sides traded chances for the remainder of the half with neither side coming particularly close to another goal. Dembele had a pair of free kicks from dangerous areas late in the half, but his efforts had too much power on them for his teammates to do anything with them.

The winner of Tuesday's match will meet the winner of Wednesday's England-the Netherlands match in Sunday's final from Berlin.