Les Bleus weren’t the most convincing side when Euro 2016 kicked off in June, however, France has consistently improved with every match, and will now have a chance to earn its third European Championship.
Antoine Griezmann’s brace gave France a 2-0 win against Germany on Thursday afternoon. The hosts will move on to face Portugal in the final on July 10.
France took the lead on the stroke of halftime when Griezmann netted his first of the afternoon from the penalty spot. Bastian Schweinsteiger was the guilty party for the Germans, as the Manchester United midfielder was caught with his hand above his head when the ball was headed towards goal in the 45th minute.
Griezmann then added a second goal in the 72nd minute, the Atletico Madrid striker’s sixth goal of the tournament, after Germany failed to clear its line.
Without a cast of key starters for Germany, the French nearly took advantage after seven minutes when Griezmann hit a strong effort from the center of the box. Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was up for the task though, and kept the tournament’s leading goalscorer of the board.
The Germans controlled the game for long spells, particularly down the stretch, but the French backline held up strong at the most critical junctures. Joshua Kimmich’s chance in the 74th minute that struck the post highlighted a difficult afternoon for the Germany attack.
Kimmich nearly pulled a goal back in second-half stoppage time when the attacker’s header was acrobatically saved by goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. The Tottenham shot stopper, who has been steady all tournament, came up with four saves in the match.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Antoine Griezmann saved France during key moments of Group A play, and the Atletico Madrid attacker continued his brilliance for Les Bleus against Germany.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
The Germans controlled much of the attack in the opening 45 minutes, but Griezmann’s finish from the penalty spot on the stroke of halftime gave France a critical advantage.
MATCH TO FORGET
Thomas Muller and Germany’s attack simply couldn’t break down the French backline despite boasting several of the game’s best chances.