Spain VS Portugal Euro 2012 YouTube

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Cristiano Ronaldo has been trying to conquer Spain for years. Until recently, he has been thwarted in this endeavor by some of the same players that will oppose Portugal in the semifinal at Euro 2012. But fresh off winning his first La Liga crown since joining Real Madrid, the Portuguese forward aims to add another epic result to his sterling resume.

Of course, the mesmeric passing of Spain means that Ronaldo may see precious few chances to make an impression at Donbass Arena in Ukraine. Winners at both the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2008, Spain enter the match as the prohibitive favorites and the purveyors of the most beautiful - and emulated - style in the world. The team that emerges victorious on Wednesday will await the winner of the other semifinal match between Italy and Germany.

To bring a bit more of an Iberian influence and expert analysis to this latest Euro 2012 live blog, HuffPost Sports will be viewing the game alongside noted soccer writer Jimmy Burns at the Centro Espanol in New York City. The author of (Nation Books), Burns will be chiming in with insights throughout the match.

To join the conversation, tweet @HuffPostSports or @HuffPostBooks.


: Bruno Alves an inch from glory, Fabregas an inch from disaster. The smallest of margins that separate winning & losing! #Euro2012

Germany and Italy meet on Thursday in the other semifinal. Both likely fancy themselves a sterner test for Spain than Portugal. For Portugal, this must feel like an opportunity lost. They took the action to Spain, defending high up the field and grabbing an impressive amount of possession (near 45% for much of the match).

: You can't justify Cristiano Ronaldo not taking one of the penalty kicks in the Semi Finals of the Euro's. He's your BEST player!!
: Cristiano Ronaldo shockingly doesn't even have the chance to step up and take a penalty kick. #euro2012
: Well Cristiano Ronaldo can only blame himself. He should have taken a penalty before any other Portuguese player did!! #Euro2012

Ronaldo never had to (or got to) factor in to the penalty shootout.

Cesc's shot banged off the left post and bounced into the net. He runs to his teammates as ESPANA is chanted here at Centro Espanol.

He can book a place in the final and HE DOES!

And his missile comes off the bar! Jimmy Burns is dancing with the fans at Centro Espanol.

Groans then applause from Spanish fans here. He scores with a chip after Patricio dives.

Nani comes trotting down and goes high into the net after a stutter step.

Epic leaping save to his right and then Iniesta comes through. Spain lead, 1-0.

Spain kicks first. And he is denied! Patricio puts it off the post. Brilliant!

Ronaldo with words of advice for Patricio.

One is the best in the world but the other has been tested tonight.

: 52 fouls, 9 cautions, 7 shots on target, 0 goals. PKs await. #euro2012

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What time is spain vs portugal July 27, 2012?

Portugal vs Spain comes on at 2:30pm EST on ESPN, June 27, 2012. The winner will play in the championship game on July 1.