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Antoine Griezmann netted a brace Thursday night as hosts France beat world champions Germany 2-0 to set up a Euro 2016 final clash against Portugal.
The Atletico Madrid forward converted a contentious first-half penalty for Bastian Schweinsteiger’s handball, before putting the result beyond doubt with an instinctual finish midway through the second-half.
Griezmann now comfortably leads the scorers’ chart with six goals as Les Bluestackle the Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal in Sunday’s final at the Stade de France.
It was France’s first win over Germany in their fifth meeting at major finals, aided by a controversial eagle-eyed decision from Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli.
Schweinsteiger was adjudged to have grazed the ball with his arm while marking Patrice Evra from a corner, and after protests from furious German players, Griezmann showed a cool head by slamming his shot beyond the imposing Manuel Neuer to give Didier Deschamps men the lead at the break.
The hosts had been sitting deep and looking to counter with the lightning pace of Griezmann and Moussa Sissoko as world champions Germany dictated play, but the penalty swung the game and Joachim Loew’s side never really recovered.
France defended with more resolve in the second period, forcing Loew to throw on World Cup winner Mario Goetze for Emre Can in the hope of another bit of magic.
But with centre-back Jerome Boateng off due to injury, Griezmann sealed the deal with a clinical toe-poke on 72 minutes when Paul Pogba’s cross was cleared by Neuer into his path.
France held firm as Germany rallied desperately in the dying stages, with Hugo Lloris producing a stunning save to keep out Joshua Kimmich in stoppage-time; sending the packed Stade Velodrome into raptures.
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