After the emphatic win over Holland on Tuesday, expectations were high for the England players to repeat the display which put them in this match. It turned out to be a tough quarter-final to progress from. Spain were very commendable opponents.
During the opening spell it looked as though England were going to resume their performance from Tuesday. England could have been in front when Gary Neville and Gascoigne both drove shots, but Zubizarreta punched away the first attempt and dived to save the second. The Spanish 'keeper also prevented Shearer from scoring, putting a ferocious shot over the crossbar.
After this initial good spell by England, Spain decided it was their turn to reek havoc on the opponents defence. The Spanish had positive results with their attacks but they weren't credited with a goal. Manjarin, Kiko and Salinas all created problems for the England players. Kiko scored in the 22nd minute but it was disallowed for offside. Eleven minutes later they scored again, but for the second time they were ruled offside. Relays show that Salinas was on side when the ball was played from Hierro. This decision proved costly to Spain later in the game.
Towards the end of the first period Gascoigne took a free-kick which almost resulted in a goal when Adams got his head to it, but Zubizarreta was there again to deny England. The half ended when on the counter attack Manjarin sprinted through the England defenders forcing Seaman to come off his line and tackle him. In an eventful first half surprisingly the score was 0-0.
Five minutes after the game had re-started following the break, Gascoigne brought down Alfonso (a substitute for Salinas) in the area. Wembley held it's breath as the referee made a decision on what action should be taken. It was England's lucky day. A penalty was not awarded and Alfonso was booked for diving!! On went England trying to take the lead and they came close a number of times especially when Shearer found Anderton in the centre but the shot went wide, and when the striker failed to connect to Gascoigne's pass near the goal.
Under twenty minutes were remaining when it looked as though England were going to fall behind when Caminero, on for Manjarin at halftime, looked menacing, and looked like he was going to score. Adams stepped in and clumsily tackled him but again the referee waved play on. This was not going to be Spain's day.
Still the Spaniards didn't give up and in the final minutes Seaman contributed to his man of the match award even further when he saved from Kiko.
Extra time was required to try to settle this game in the form of sudden death, but this failed to produce a winner. England should possibly have been awarded a penalty during this period when Nadal fouled Stone, but it was not given. Stone was brought on as a substitute in the second period of extra time, along with Fowler and Barmby. Gascoigne came the closest out of all the players on
the field to getting the "golen goal", but once again Zubizarreta was there to prevent the goal.
After 120 minutes of play, neither team having scored, the only way to settle the game was by the dreaded penalties. The shoot-out only required eight penalties to decide the outcome. Shearer, Platt, Pearce and Gascoigne all converted their spot kicks, but Hierro and Nadal missed their chances. England won on penalties 4-2 but Spain didn't deserve to go out of the European Championships this way. They had played so well throughout the game. It was their first defeat in the twenty matches they had played since the 1994 World Cup. The moment, however, belonged to England who will face Germany in a repeat of the 1990 Italian World Cup semi-final.
Zubizarreta, Belsue, Alkorta (Lopez 74 mins), Abelardo, Hierro, Sergi, Kiko, Manjarin (Caminero 45 mins), Amor, Salinas (Alfonso 45 mins), Nadal.
Subs Not Used: Amavisca, Guerrero, Pizza, Donato, Canizares, Otero, Luis Enrique, Molina.
Seaman, G Neville, Pearce, Adams, Southgate, Platt, Gascoigne, Shearer, Sheringham (Stone 109 mins), Anderton (Fowler 109 mins), McManaman (Barmby 109 mins).
Subs Not Used: Flowers, Campbell, L Ferdinand, P Neville, Walker.
Spain cautions: Abelardo, Belsue, Sergi, Alfonso
England cautions: G Neville
Referee: Marc Batta (France)