The semifinals for Euro 2016 are set, as Portugal will face Wales in the first one, while France will play Germany in the second one.
Portugal make it into the semifinal without winning a single match within the 90 minutes. Three draws in the group stage, followed by beating Croatia 1-0 with a 117th minute goal by Ricardo Quaresma in the round of 16, and a 1-1 draw with Poland in the quarterfinals was decided in a penalty shootout, with Quaresma scoring the winner. It’s the fifth time Portugal make the European semi final.
Wales, their rivals in the semis, are in the last four for the first time, which makes sense, this being their first European championship. They won 6 points out of a possible nine in the group stage, beating Slovakia and Russia, while losing to England. In the round of 16 they beat Northern Ireland thanks to a late own goal, and in the quarterfinals came back from an early Belgium goal to win 3-1.
France, the hosts, are in the last four for the first time since 2000 (when the won), and fifth time overall. They finished with 7 points in the group stage, beating Romania and Albania before drawing with Switzerland. They beat Ireland 2-1 in the round of 16, before romping through Iceland with a 5-2 win, the highest scoring match in the tournament so far.
Germany are in this last four situation for the ninth time. Like France, they got 7 points out of 9 in the group stage, with a draw against Poland sandwiched between wins over Northern Ireland and Ukraine. They easily dispatched of Slovakia in the round of 16 with a 3-0 win. In the quarterfinals they drew 1-1 with Italy, and managed to do what Germany always do when it’s a penalty shootout: Win.
The Portugal – Wales semi will be played in Lyon, July 6. France will face Germany in Marseille on July 7.