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Hosts England reach EURO '96 semis with shoot-out defeat of Spain

Spain 0-0 England (England win 4-2 on penalties)
Goalkeeper David Seaman and left-back Stuart Pearce were the shoot-out heroes.

David Seaman sends England through with a shoot-out save
David Seaman sends England through with a shoot-out save ©Getty Images

On the crest of a wave after their memorable 4-1 against the Netherlands, hosts England beat Spain 4-2 on penalties to move into the semi-finals.

Terry Venables' side had produced a truly thrilling display in their final group game and now had an ever more enthusiastic nation behind them. Their momentum was checked by a well-organised Spanish side, however, with only the spot-kick heroics of Stuart Pearce and David Seaman enough to take them past Javier Clemente's charges and into the last four.

EURO '96: All you need to know

No one had played a more pivotal role in England's resurgent tournament than Alan Shearer, and Spain were all too aware of the threat posed by the burly, yet mobile striker. Immediately gifted little room in which to work, Shearer made a rare escape into space on four minutes but his fierce shot was well stopped by Andoni Zubizarreta.

EURO '96 top scorer: All of Alan Shearer's goals
EURO '96 top scorer: All of Alan Shearer's goals

Spain swiftly gained a foothold, however, twice denied by an offside flag before carving open the England defence just before half-time; Javier Manjarín was clean through but hesitated long enough for Seaman to advance and block with his legs.

Such a moment of laxness appeared to prompt England to tighten up after the interval, with Steve McManaman and Paul Gascoigne finally starting to work the openings denied to them earlier on. Indeed it was Gascoigne who fashioned the best opportunity of the game on 73 minutes when he chipped to the far post for Shearer, who somehow turned over from close range.

England national anthem: Classic EURO '96 rendition
England national anthem: Classic EURO '96 rendition

Extra time was required and the golden goal was in play for the first time – one goal was all that was needed. It was not forthcoming, though, and EURO '96 had its first penalty shoot-out.

England edged in front when Fernando Hierro struck the bar with Spain's first attempt and were 2-1 ahead by the time Pearce stepped up. The lionhearted left-back, who had missed in England's shoot-out loss to Germany in the FIFA World Cup semi-finals six years earlier, dispatched emphatically and celebrated with gusto. His team-mates followed suit before Seaman stopped Miguel Nadal to cement his country's progress.

EURO '96: Team of the Tournament

Lineups

England line up ahead of the Spain quarter-final
England line up ahead of the Spain quarter-finalIcon Sport via Getty Images

Spain: Zubizarreta (c); Abelardo, Alkorta (Juanma López 72), Nadal; Sergi, Manjarín (Caminero 46), Amor, Hierro, Belsué; Salinas (Alfonso 46), Kiko
Substitutes
: Amavisca, Guerrero, Pizzi, Donato, Cañizares, Otero, Luis Enrique, Molina
Coach: Javier Clemente

England: Seaman; Pearce, Southgate, Adams (c), Gary Neville; Anderton (Stone 109), Gascoigne, Platt, McManaman (Barmby 109); Sheringham (Fowler 109), Shearer
Substitutes
: Flowers, Campbell, Ferdinand, Phil Neville, Walker
Coach
: Terry Venables

Referee: Marc Batta (France)

Man of the Match: David Seaman (England)

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