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Euro 2024: Spain eliminate hosts Germany after extra time

July 5, 2024

Spain have ejected Germany from Euro 2024, winning 2-1 after extra time in a tight game in Stuttgart. Mikel Merino bagged the late goal to dash the hosts' hopes.

Germany s Antonio Rüdiger sits on the pitch with after losing against Spain in their Euro 2024 quarterfinal. Stuttgart, July 5, 2024.
Germany experienced the relief of a last-minute equalizer to force extra time, then Spain left it similarly late to deny the hosts a penalty shootoutImage: J. J. Guillen/Agencia EFE/IMAGO

Germany are out of UEFA's Euro 2024 tournament, eliminated 2-1 at the end of extra time by Spain following a fierce battle in Stuttgart on Friday. 

Mikel Merino scored the decisive goal in the 119th minute, dashing the host nation's hopes of a run all the way to the final in Berlin.

Both sides had chances during extra time and were broadly even throughout the match.  

How did the German team react?

Toni Kroos, who is retiring from professional football, said the result was not the toughest defeat of his professional career, but that it was still "a game where we gave everything to avoid defeat."

"Given that we came so close, it's all the more bitter," Kroos said. "It goes without saying that it's a bit sad here tonight, because we would have liked to stick around a little longer." 

Joshua Kimmich also spoke of "great disappointment" to bow out of another major tournament. 

"But this time everything was different," Kimmich said, after three tournaments prior to Euro 2024 in which Germany had not won a single knockout game. "We put everything into it, from the first minute to the last."

Chancellor Olaf Scholz commented after the match on how close it was, and said he thought both sides could be proud of their performance and the attacking football they played. 

Upset but hopeful: German team exits Euro 2024

Advantage Spain thanks to substitute Olmo

First-half bookings for Antonio Rüdiger and David Raum in defense meant Germany had to tread on eggshells for much of the match, but the first period provided few real tests for either goalkeeper. 

Spain often threatened via the flanks and tricky wingers Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams, and the opening goal in the 51st minute was no exception. 

Yamal found space wide on the right and was picked out by Alvaro Morata, with David Raum slow to close the winger down. 

Yamal played a clever low cutback across the edge of the penalty area and Olmo took the shot in stride first time, stroking it low into the far corner out of Manuel Neuer's reach. 

Spain's Dani Olmo leaping in the air as he celebrates the opening goal. Stuttgart, Germany, July 5, 2024.
Olmo hadn't even expected to feature early in the game, but an early injury to Pedri allowed him into the fray soon after the startImage: Federico Gambarini/picture alliance/dpa

Germany force extra time at the last

Germany threw caution to the wind after the goal, bringing on Niclas Füllkrug up front in addition to Kai Havertz. 

Havertz in particular had a pair of late chances to level the score. But a long-range lob drifted agonizingly over the crossbar and a close-range shot was denied by a sharp save from Unai Simon. 

Niclas Füllkrug of Germany reacts with a frustrated expression after a missed chance during the Spain v Germany Euro 2024 quarterfinal. Stuttgart, Germany, July 5, 2024.
Germany briefly looked set for exit after 90 minutes as a flurry of late chances missed the markImage: Michael Zemanek/Shutterstock/IMAGO

Florian Wirtz finally netted an equalizer in the 89th minute that was somewhat reminiscent of Olmo's finish. 

Germany's cross came from Raum on the left, and Joshua Kimmich headed it down into Wirtz's path. He fired first time, in off the inside of the far post, leaving the keeper no real chance. 

Florian Wirtz celebrates his goal, making it 1-1 in the Euro 2024 quarterfinal between Germany and Spain. Stuttgart, July 5, 2024.
Wirtz's late strike sent the game to extra timeImage: Kai Pfaffenbach/REUTERS

End to end in extra time

Both sides frequently threatened in extra time and sought to keep pushing forward, as fatigue started to open up space. 

Germany players also appealed for handball as a Jamal Musiala shot was blocked in the area by Marc Cucurella, but VAR did not intervene, and replays showed his hand was low by his side when the ball made contact with it. 

Unai Simon was called into action to deny Füllkrug, just moments before the winning goal at the other end. 

Olmo transitioned from scorer to creator, floating a cross from the left invitingly for fellow substitute Mikel Merino to head home.

Spain's Mikel Merino, right, celebrates with Ferran Torres after scoring his side's second goal in extra time during a quarter final match between Germany and Spain at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Stuttgart, Germany, Friday, July 5, 2024.
Merino's 119th-minute goal, with penalties looming, decided the first Euro 2024 quarterfinalImage: Michael Probst/AP Photo/picture alliance

Full back Dani Carvajal later picked up a second yellow card and was sent off for a cynical last-second foul to halt a German attack in the build-up phase; he will miss the next round. 

Spain will face either Portugal or France in the semifinals next Tuesday, July 9.

Edited by: Alex Berry

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Mark Hallam News and current affairs writer and editor with DW since 2006.@marks_hallam