Euro 2016: Griezmann’s brace sends France to final

Goals from Antoine Griezmann on Thursday night at Stade Velodrome, Marseille, sent hosts, France to the final of the Euro 2016 and ended the dream of Germany, as the reigning world champions lost 0-2 in a gruelling semi-final clash.

Griezmann, converted a penalty kick before half time after the Italian referee, Nicola Rizzoli had ruled that Bastian Schweinsteiger palmed the ball during an aerial challenge with Patrice Evra.

The Atletico Madrid forward gave the German Machine no chance to come back with another strike off Paul Pogba’s brilliance display in the 72nd minute, to set a final clash with Portugal on Sunday.

Speaking after the game, Griezmann, who is now the tournament’s top scorer with six goals said: “It’s a whole group effort. It’s thanks to the group we’re in the final and we’re going to make the most of tonight.

“I missed my penalty in the Champions League final and I really wanted to make sure I put it in the back of the net tonight.

“I’m still very far off Michel Platini and hopefully one day I can get closer to that.”

Meanwhile, a disappointed Germany goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer said: “The only thing to blame is we didn’t take our chances. We had opportunities to score. We were motivated but we weren’t lucky enough.”

France, it will be recalled, won the championship in 1984 as hosts and in 2000 at the expense of Italy, while Portugal lost in the final of the 2004 to Greece.