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Griezmann beauty, Schweinsteiger error: 5 moments from France vs Germany

France beat Germany 2-0 in Marseille on Thursday to reach the final of Euro 2016. Here are five key moments in a game of twists and turns.

euro 2016 Updated: Jul 08, 2016 08:30 IST
Antoine Griezmann,France vs Germany,Euro 2016
(Left to right) France's Yohan Cabaye, Antoine Griezmann and team mates celebrate after the Euro 2016 semifinal football match between Germany and France at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille.(AFP Photo)

France beat Germany 2-0 in Marseille on Thursday to reach the final of Euro 2016. Here are five key moments in a game of twists and turns:

Germany decimated by injuries, suspension

Germany’s task was made more difficult ahead of kick off, with three notable absentees from Joachim Loew’s squad. Defender Mats Hummels was ruled out through suspension after picking up his second booking of the tournament against Italy in the quarterfinals, with midfielder Sami Khedira (groin) and Mario Gomez (thigh) both sidelined by injury. Germany suffered another setback when centre back Jerome Boateng was helped off the field on the hour with an apparent thigh injury and replaced by Shkodran Mustafi.

Read | Antoine Griezmann double helps France sink Germany to reach Euro 2016 final

Germany's Jerome Boateng receives treatment after sustaining an injury before being substituted as head coach Joachim Low looks on. (Reuters Photo)

France bend but don’t break

France made a promising start at the Stade Velodrome with Manuel Neuer making a fine save to deny Antoine Griezmann, but Germany quickly established their dominance. Thomas Mueller, who is now without a goal in 11 European Championship matches, stabbed a low cross wide and France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris then flung himself to his right to claw away an Emre Can effort before tipping over from Bastian Schweinsteiger. The Germans controlled possession and had France pegged back, but crucially for Didier Deschamps’ side they were able to keep the world champions at bay.

France's defender Laurent Koscielny (second left ), Samuel Umtiti (top) and other teammates surround Antoine Griezmann (C) as they celebrate his scoring of the second goal for France. (AFP Photo)

Griezmann spot on after Schweinsteiger handles

Griezmann fired France into the lead in the second minute of first half stoppage time after Germany captain Schweinsteiger was penalised for a handball inside the box. Griezmann’s driven corner picked out Patrice Evra whose header was blocked by the outstretched arm of Schweinsteiger. Referee Nicola Rizzoli took his time before pointing to the spot as the Germans contested the decision. Griezmann kept his cool to send Neuer the wrong way and move a step closer towards the Golden Boot.

Read | France find a new hero in ‘indispensable’ Griezmann after Germany win

Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger handles the ball and concedes a penalty. (Reuters Photo)

Griezmann pounces on Pogba magic, Neuer error

Griezmann struck his second goal of the evening on 72 minutes after Germany carelessly surrendered possession inside their own area. Paul Pogba latched onto the loose ball, dancing round a defender before flighting over a cross that Neuer could only tip straight into the path of Griezmann. The Atletico Madrid striker poked the rebound through the legs of the Bayern Munich keeper for his tournament-leading sixth goal -- leaving him three clear of Cristiano Ronaldo and the chasing pack.

France's forward Antoine Griezmann celebrates after scoring the second goal for France during the Euro 2016 semifinal football match against Germany. (AFP Photo)

Kimmich comes closest for Germany

Right back Joshua Kimmich nearly pulled a goal back for Germany on two separate occasions. First, on 74 minutes, the Bayern Munich youngster shifted the ball onto his left foot on the edge of the area only to see his curling effort smack against the right-hand post with Lloris well beaten. The France captain then pulled off a brilliant reflex save in stoppage time at the end of the second half to keep out a Kimmich header.

France's forward Dimitri Payet (left) eyes the header by Germany's midfielder Joshua Kimmich during the Euro 2016 semifinal football match between Germany and France. (AFP Photo)

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First Published: Jul 08, 2016 08:29 IST