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Yamal makes history as Spain sink France to reach Euro 2024 final

<a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/players/3966436/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Lamine Yamal;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Lamine Yamal</a> scored a brilliant equaliser for <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/teams/spain/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Spain;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Spain</a> (FRANCK FIFE)

Lamine Yamal, 16, became the tournament's youngest ever goalscorer as Spain came back to beat France 2-1 in Munich on Tuesday and reach the Euro 2024 final.

Trailing after Randal Kolo Muani headed in a Kylian Mbappe cross in the ninth minute, Spain turned the match around in a four-minute period, scoring twice against a side who had only conceded once in five previous games in this tournament.

Yamal, who turns 17 a day before Sunday's final against either the Netherlands or England, equalised with a superb strike from outside the box, curling a long-range effort into the top corner and past the fingertips of an airborne Mike Maignan.

Spain took the lead on 25 minutes, Dani Olmo expertly gathering a loose ball and firing a low shot into the net with the aid of a deflection off Jules Kounde.

"I got the ball, didn't think about it for too long and just shot," Yamal said of his brilliant strike. "I'm just enjoying myself and I'm proud to be in the final."

Three-time champions Spain became the first team to win six games at a Euros and are one game away from a record-breaking fourth crown.

"We are one step away from glory," Olmo told ZDF. "We are very, very close. This team is unbelievable. We deserve it."

This weekend in Berlin will be Spain's first appearance in a major tournament final since a much-vaunted side thrashed Italy 4-0 in the Euro 2012 showpiece.

Masters of midfield game management, Spain shut up shop after taking the lead, frequently holding possession rather than attacking on the counter, controlling the match and claiming the win.

"They're a very good team, we knew that, they proved it tonight even if we were able to open the scoring," France coach Didier Deschamps.

"They created difficulties for us as they controlled the game better than us, even if we kept going until the end."

Finalists in three of the past four major tournaments, questions will be asked of how France failed to click up front despite boasting enviable attacking riches.

Mbappe again struggled to make a serious impact despite playing without the mask he had been wearing since breaking his nose in France's opening game against Austria.

The Real Madrid-bound striker's only goal in nine career appearances at the Euros remains the penalty he netted in the 1-1 group-stage draw with Poland last month.

- France strike early -

France had scored just three goals in Germany heading into the match, none of which were scored by a French player from open play and Deschamps reacted, benching forward Antoine Griezmann for Ousmane Dembele.

Yamal created the first chance of the match four minutes in, lofting a curling cross to an unmarked Fabian Ruiz, who headed over from point-blank range.

Four minutes later, Mbappe skated down the left flank and sent in a carbon copy of Yamal's cross, but Kolo Muani's header was on target to give France the lead.

While the pre-match doubts focused on Spain veterans Jesus Navas, 38, and Nacho, 34, who replaced suspended duo Dani Carvajal and Robin Le Normand, the younger Aymeric Laporte and Marc Cucurella were at fault for Kolo Muani's opener.

France's strike seemed to take the wind out of Spain's sails but it was the youngest player on the pitch who produce a piece of sublime brilliance to level the scores.

Collecting the ball well outside the box, Yamal cut inside, took one look at the goal and unleashed a perfect curling strike into the top left corner.

The goal made Yamal, who already has three assists at Euro 2024, the youngest scorer in the competition's history, beating the previous record by a year and a half.

Lamal's goal, 12 minutes after France's opener, ignited Spain and La Roja took the lead four minutes later through Olmo.

Olmo leapt acrobatically to collect a cleared cross, shed a defender and smashed goalwards, his shot taking a deflection off Kounde before bouncing in.

France's best chance to force extra time fell to their captain with five minutes remaining, but Mbappe blasted well over with only goalkeeper Unai Simon to beat.

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