EURO 2012 LIVE: Portugal 0, Spain 0

Associated Press
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo gets ready to perform a free kick, during the Euro 2012 soccer championship semifinal match between Spain and Portugal in Donetsk, Ukraine, Wednesday, June 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Portugal plays Spain in the first semifinal of the European Championship in Donetsk, Ukraine, Wednesday. Here's the running account of the action and pre-match buildup. All times are local to Poland.

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2313: IT WILL BE SETTLED BY PENALTIES! At the end of extra-time, it's Portugal 0, Spain 0.

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2312: PhillipsIan: Tonight's winner? Germany ... Unless Italy springs a surprise, can't see either of these teams beating Germany in a Euro 2012 final. (via Twitter).

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2308: From AP's simonhaydon: Ronaldo did an excellent impression of the dying swan as he hit the ground, apparently unconscious. Ten seconds later he's up and about. Fabregas then breaks through but can't finish. Four minutes left.

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2306: Jesus Navas fires at the goalkeeper from 12 yards. Rui Patricio gets a hand to it and it rebounds off Pepe. Spanish players go nuts looking for a free kick for a passback but they're wrong and we meander on gently towards penalties. Then, a yellow for Alonso for a late challenge on Real Madrid teammate Ronaldo.

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2257: Sergio Ramos thrashes a shot just over the bar as the first half of extra time comes to an end with Spain on top. If it stays like this, it's another penalty shootout, the second of Euro 2012.

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2256: Iniesta really should have scored. Presented with the ball six yards out, his shot was weak and pushed to one side by the Portugal goalie. He won't get many better chances than that. Jordi Alba is making an impression down the left wing.

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2247: The pace of the game has slowed right down as both teams show they're desperate to avoid mistakes. They're also tired. One moment of genius could settle this one. Ronaldo or Iniesta?

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2241: Extra-time underway.

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2240: Well, an intriguing, if goalless 90 minutes that has been notable for Portugal's spirited performance and - it has to be said - another insipid showing from the world champions. Portugal did not let Spain settle with aggressive tactics that saw 5 of their players booked but also a willingness to attack that really should have resulted in a goal. Spain had just six shots, one on target, Portugal had 10 shots, two on target.

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FULL-TIME: Portugal 0, Spain 0. The match will now go into extra-time.

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2232: It's four against two in favor of Portugal on the break, the ball's played left to Ronaldo rushing toward the box but his shot goes horribly high. That could've been the winner!

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2228: There's a surprise. Xavi Hernandez is substituted. He's had an average night by his extremely high standards. The Portuguese are bound to get a lift seeing him leave the pitch.

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2225: Ronaldo gets another chance from a long-range free kick and is awarded a re-take after the ball strikes Arbeloa's arm in the wall. He tries again, a bit closer this time — but again the ball goes over. You'd expect more from Ronaldo from that range.

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2219: Cynical kick by Bruno Alves into Fabregas' back. You feel a red card could be coming out tonight. It's getting niggly. Less than 15 minutes to go and neither side is pressing, perhaps mindful that a mistake now could mean elimination.

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2215: Ronaldo gets a free kick outside the box but his shot sails over the bar.

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2206: Given time and room, the Spanish look elegant and unbeatable. Squeezed and harried, they suddenly look ordinary. Their midfield is getting no space. Pereira is Portugal's third defender to be booked when he stops Fabregas on the edge of the box with a shirt pull. But the ensuing free kick goes nowhere.

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2204: Busquets booked for asking the ref to give Ronaldo a yellow card when the Portuguese star went down rather too easily in the area. Pepe goes into the book a few moments later. The ref is trying to assert himself. These two teams seem more than happy to kick chunks out of each other.

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2201: Portugal really taking the game to Spain. They're not hitting the target but are throwing everything at Spain here. When will the Spanish come out of their shell? They're not managing to express themselves in the usual way.

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2156: Negredo off. He has been ineffectual. Fabregas is on to try and make a difference for Spain.

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2153: Portugal again playing brightly and with no fear. They're showing the Spanish little respect. Is it so difficult for other teams to learn this is how to win, even against mighty sides like Spain? Portugal pressing high, squeezing Spain. But Portugal cannot relax for one moment.

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2150: The second half's underway. No change to either side.

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2135: You feel Del Bosque has to make some changes and consider Torres or Fabregas for the second half. The Spanish aren't themselves tonight; the Portuguese are playing well and proving hard to break down. Ronaldo has been in and out of the game, though. Yet to live up to his performances in recent matches.

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2132: HALF-TIME: Portugal 0, Spain 0.

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2129: TrevorHuggins1: Wonder if Del Bosque is regretting not having Fabregas out there. Spain are just one final pass short of a picnic. (via Twitter)

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2127: Lovely chance for Silva but he finishes badly by trying to pass the ball into the net. Spain can be frustrating when they are pressured. Sergio Ramos picks up the first yellow card of the game when he deliberately blocks Ronaldo from completing a 1-2.

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2122: Ronaldo shoots from 18 yards and the ball passes inches wide of Casillas' left post. Portugal playing with confidence and panache and keeping Spain defense-minded. Iniesta heads down the line with the ball. Assistant on the goal line says ball has crossed goal line. Replay shows it didn't. They must get those decisions right.

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2115: Ronaldo could have passed it but instead chooses a complex reverse switch pass. Portugal appeals for a handball inside the Spanish area but there was no deliberate intent. Spain flows forward — whistled loudly by what appears to be a Ukrainian crowd that doesn't like the passing game too much — and Iniesta shoots over the bar again as we pass the 30-minute mark.

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2112: PaulLogoAP: Donbass Arena definitely not full capacity, a lot of empty seats scattered. Absolutely no Portuguese section of fans in ... (via Twitter)

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2110: Hardly any atmosphere out there in the stands. You can clearly hear the players calling to each other. The occasional whistle or cheer when there's a break, but surprisingly calm given the huge stakes and local rivalry.

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2105: Nani breaks clear with a route to goal but clearly dives. He's lucky to get away without being booked. He was in a promising position out on the right. Why do that?

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2103: Ronaldo is tripped just outside the area on the left and takes the kick but fires it straight at the wall. The Real Madrid genius is warming up now and getting into the game. Spain getting very little room or possession to play their usual game, but they still look dangerous.

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2100: Two minutes later Iniesta breaks through again but shoots over. Ronaldo's been somewhat on the periphery of the game until now but he's just burst down the left and put in a cross but his final ball is a little heavy and Casillas comfortably collects. It's 0-0 — but an entertaining 0-0.

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2056: There's not much space out there but you can count on Iniesta to find some. He dribbles through the Portuguese defense before setting up Arbeloa who blazes over the bar.

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2049: Casillas has to tip over the bar from a corner as Portugal makes a bright start, pinning the Spanish back in their own area. Spain not being allowed to have things their own way as Portugal closes down quickly, harrassing the Iberian neighbours.

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2045: And the Spanish, in red, get the game underway.

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2005: Another gamble by Spanish coach Vicente del Bosque. He's chosen Alvaro Negredo to lead Spain's attack, relegating both Cesc Fabregas and Fernando Torres to the bench. Negredo has played only five minutes so far in a group win over Croatia. His inclusion means Spain's coach has foregone the unorthodox 4-6-0 formation and opted instead for a traditional striker. Spain's lineup is otherwise unchanged from the 2-0 quarterfinal win over France, while Portugal has made one change with striker Hugo Almeida replacing the injured Helder Postiga in attack. The winner will play either Germany or Italy in the final in Kiev on Sunday.

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2000: Tonight's lineups:

Portugal: Rui Patricio, Bruno Alves, Fabio Coentrao, Joao Pereira, Pepe, Joao Moutinho, Raul Meireles, Nani, Miguel Veloso, Hugo Almeida, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Spain: Iker Casillas, Jordi Alba, Alvaro Arbeloa, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, David Silva, Xavi, Alvaro Negredo.

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1945: TrevorHuggins1: Spain will probably do a good job of keeping Ronaldo quiet in open play. The danger is a rash tackle that gives him a dead-ball opportunity. (via Twitter).

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1930: gdunbarap: As usual at Euro 2012 in Donetsk, Roman Abramovich in the VIP box next to Metalist Kharkiv owner Oleksandr Yaroslavsky fo ... (via Twitter)

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1852: The Spain team bus is on its way to the Donbass Arena, driving through the sunny streets of Donetsk accompanied by motor bike outriders.

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1850: From AP reporter Paul Logothetis: "The Spanish FA says over 4,000 fans are expected to be at the Donbass Arena, more than double the amount who showed for the 2-0 quarterfinal victory over France. They will be expecting a better reception from the team after only captain Iker Casillas stayed out after France to thank them for making the long trip, something that drew criticism back in Spain. Two days after the win, Cesc Fabregas said: "It's true we should have showed more affection toward our fans, sometimes we're just under such pressure that ... we forget about the effort they make to come and support us. I'm sorry if that upset them, it won't happen again. Hopefully we can celebrate reaching the final with them on Wednesday."

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