Merino’s Last-Gasp Header sends Spain to Semifinals in Thriller Against Germany

A dramatic 119th-minute header from Mikel Merino sent Spain into the Euro 2024 semifinals, eliminating hosts Germany in a captivating quarterfinal clash in Stuttgart.

The thrilling encounter lived up to its billing, with both sides showcasing their attacking prowess and determination.

Spain took the lead early in the second half when substitute Dani Olmo finished off a cross from teenage prodigy Lamine Yamal, his third assist of the tournament.

Germany responded with their own substitute, Niclas Fullkrug, striking the post with a powerful effort.

The match seemed destined for extra time until the final minute of regulation, when Florian Wirtz unleashed a stunning strike that rattled the post before finding the net, igniting the home crowd.

Extra time saw chances for both sides, with Mikel Oyarzabal and Wirtz missing agonizingly wide and goalkeeper Unai Simon making a spectacular save to deny Fullkrug.

But in the dying seconds, Merino rose highest to head home the winner, sparking wild celebrations from Spanish players and fans alike.

Dani Carvajal’s late red card for a second yellow did little to dampen the Spanish jubilation. The victory secures their place in the semifinals against either France or Portugal.

Despite the defeat, Germany’s impressive performance, particularly from young talents like Wirtz and Musiala, offered a glimpse of a promising future.

However, it marks the end of an era for the legendary Toni Kroos, who had previously announced his retirement from international football after the tournament.