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September 26, 2017

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We deserve credit for victory against France: del Bosque

DONETSK, Ukraine -- Vicente del Bosque said Spain's team performance, rather than France's defensive approach, was chiefly responsible for their 2-0 win over the French in the Euro 2012 quarterfinals.

The reigning world and European champions set up a last-four meeting with neighbors Portugal after a brace of goals from Xabi Alonso, on his 100th international appearance, gave them victory at Donetsk's Donbass Arena.

France coach Laurent Blanc's plan to align two right-backs on the right flank back-fired in the 19th minute when Jordi Alba got away from both Mathieu Debuchy and Anthony Reveillere before crossing for Alonso to put Spain ahead.

Spain weathered periods of France pressure in the second half before Alonso sealed the win from the penalty spot in injury time, and Spanish coach Del Bosque said his team were deserved victors.

"I don't want to talk about the opposition coach," he said in his post-match press conference.

"We were strong on the left through Jordi and (Andres) Iniesta, and that's where the goal came from.

"I don't think they were short in attack. They had (Franck) Ribery and (Karim) Benzema. They went forward and made chances, and then (Olivier) Giroud and (Samir) Nasri came on.

"I don't think they just decided to defend. We played well as a team and that's more important than the problems France had."

Spain have now extended their run of unbeaten competitive matches to 18, but they will have two days less to prepare for their semi-final than Portugal, who overcame the Czech Republic 1-0 on Thursday.

With Cristiano Ronaldo in match-winning form for the Portuguese, Del Bosque knows his side will have to recover as quickly as possible.

"We were tired at the end but that's normal and we'll have to try to get as much rest as we can," he said.

"Of course it's a little disadvantage for us. But at least we had luck today."

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