Spain: Casillas; Sergio Ramos, Puyol, Marchena,
Capdevila; Iniesta, Marcos Senna Xavi (Xabi Alonso 69'), David Silva; David
Villa (Fábregas 35'), Fernando Torres (Güiza 69'). 4-4-2.
Russia: Akinfeev; Anyukov, Ignashevich, Vasili Berezutski, Zhirkov; Zyrianov, Semak, Semshov (Bilyaletdinov 56'), Saenko (Sychev 57'); Arshavin, Pavlyuchenko. 4-4-2.
1-0. 50. Xavi. Got on the end of Iniesta cross to turn shot under legs of Akinfeev.
2-0. 73. Güiza. Picked up lobbed pass from Fábregas and flicked ball past keeper.
3-0. 82. Silva. Controlled cross in from Fábregas and placed shot wide of keeper.
Spain are in to their first final in 24 years after beating Russia 3-0! Luis Aragonés's side were expecting a harder battle than their opening game, when they beat their opponents 4-1. Since then though Guus Hiddink's team had recovered to win their next three matches, and they held their own in an even first half, with Torres, Villa and Sergio Ramos bringing good saves out of Akinfeev and Pavlyuchenko going close a couple of times for the East Europeans.
Aragonés had put out his first choice line up once again, but an injury to Villa late in the first half brought on Fábregas. That meant a change of formation, but it worked to perfection as Xavi latched on to a return pass from Barcelona team mate Iniesta to open the scoring five minutes after the restart.
Torres shot just wide only a couple of minutes later, and failed to convert a couple more chances after that. The coach though decided to make a double change, replacing Torres and Xavi with Güiza and Xabi Alonso, and within four minutes Fábregas set up Güiza for him to flick the ball past the keeper for his side's second.
Casillas did well to keep out Zyrianov soon afterwards, but with eight minutes left on the clock a passing move out of defence ended with Fábregas crossing in for Silva to score.
Casillas saved from Syvchev near the end, and Akinfeev did likewise from Güiza, but by then it was all over and Spain were through. They now meet Germany in Sunday's final, and the long suffering fans are hoping that the eternal promises have at last come of age.