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Spain Defeats Italy, Advances to Semifinals of Euro 2008

Spain has defeated Italy, 4-2, on penalty kicks to reach the semifinals of the Euro 2008 football tournament. Spain had not beaten Italy in 88 years.

Cesc Fabregas scored the deciding penalty Sunday in Vienna after the teams played to a scoreless draw (0-0) after regulation time and an extra 30-minute period. Spain, the only of the four group winners to reach the semifinals, will face Russia on Thursday. Germany will play Turkey on Wednesday.

Italy played without key midfielders Andrea Pirlo and Gennaro Gattuso, who had been suspended because of earlier penalties. Both sets of fans jeered the teams off the field at the halftime break because of a poorly played first half. The pace improved at the start of the second half even if the quality of play did not.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.