Spain Whips Portugal: Ron Call Makes Fab Spot King


about it geneva; font-size: small;”>The World Cup holders will defend their Euro title against Germany or Italy on Sunday after a dramatic penalty shootout triumph over Portugal.

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malady geneva; font-size: small;”>Cesc Fabregas’ winning spot-kick sealed a 4-2 success — while Cristiano Ronaldo did not even play a part in the shootout as he was waiting to take his side’s FIFTH kick.

Portugal coach Paulo Bento said: “The fifth penalty would have been Ronaldo’s. We have this order and Bruno Alves was fourth and then it would have been Ronaldo.

“It was our plan. If it had been 4-4 and Ronaldo was going to shoot the last penalty things could have been different.

“It’s all about strategy. We defined before what would be the best conditions to have success.”

But former England skipper Alan Shearer said: “I just cannot understand why Ronaldo didn’t take the first penalty.

“He is Portugal’s best player by miles, yet he is left standing there with no chance to take part.

“It’s incredible. Your regular penalty taker should go up for the early kicks because then you can get in front and take control.

“As the captain you have to put yourself up as first or second taker to say ‘I’ll get us off to a good start’.”

Supersub Fabregas was down to take the second penalty but told Spain’s bosses he wanted the fifth to give them the win!

He said: “I had an intuition. Assistant coach Toni Grande told me to take the second but I asked him to put me in fifth place.

“I told the ball ‘Please don’t fail me’.”

Boss Vicente Del Bosque confirmed he moved Fab back following the Barcelona star’s request.

Del Bosque said: “Curiously, he said he wanted the fifth to give us the win.

“It was a premonition and we weren’t going to argue with him about it because he’s one of the safest players when it comes to shooting.”

Xabi Alonso’s first penalty of the shootout was saved by Rui Patricio but Joao Moutinho was then denied by Iker Casillas.

Alves, who wrongly went up for Portugal’s third penalty when he was pencilled in for No 4, smashed his effort against the bar.

That left the way clear for Fab to be the hero.

Portugal star Nani, who converted his spot-kick, said: “It’s very difficult to lose on penalties when you know your team worked very well and did everything they could.

“We had time enough before the shootout to play and score goals


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