EURO 2024: Spain stun Germany in thriller of Stuttgart to reach Euro 2024 semi-finals

Left: Mikel Merino. Right: Niklas Fullkrug. Source: X

Spain secured a thrilling 2-1 victory over Germany in the Euro 2024 quarter-final clash at the Stuttgart Arena, with Mikel Merino emerging the hero with a dramatic last-minute winner. The match was a rollercoaster of emotions as the visitors knocked out the hosts on a charged-up evening. It was yet another underwhelming outcome for Germany in major tournaments.

The game started with high intensity as both teams aimed to assert their dominance early on. However, it was Spain who drew first blood in the 51st minute through Dani Olmo. The RB Leipzig midfielder capitalised on a precise cross from Lamine Yamal, calmly slotting the ball past the German goalkeeper to give La Roja the lead.

Germany, backed by their passionate home crowd, fought back relentlessly. They came close to equalising in the 77th minute when Florian Wirtz’s powerful strike rattled the post, leaving the Spanish defenders heaving a sigh of relief. The Germans continued to press, with Kai Havertz almost catching the Spanish goalkeeper off guard with a cleverly attempted lob that sailed just over.

The tension escalated as the clock ticked down, with both teams pushing for a decisive goal. In the 88th minute, Germany found their breakthrough. Joshua Kimmich’s header from a Maximilian Mittelstadt cross fell perfectly into the path of Wirtz, who made no mistake in calmly finishing past the diving Diego Simon.

With the scores levelled at 1-1, the match went into extra time, intensifying the drama even further. Mikel Oyarzabal came close to restoring Spain’s lead with a long-range effort that narrowly missed the target. Germany, meanwhile, continued to threaten, with Niklas Fullkrug forcing Simon into a crucial save following a header from a Kimmich cross.

Just as it seemed the match was destined for a penalty shootout, Spain delivered the decisive blow in the dying moments. Olmo, who had been instrumental throughout the game, delivered a pinpoint cross from the left flank. Merino rose above the German defence to head the ball into the net, sparking scenes of jubilation among the Spanish players and fans.