Spain reached their third consecutive major final with a 4-2 penalty shootout win over Portugal in Wednesday's Euro 2012 semi-final.
Despite playing at far from their best and with chances to find the net at a premium, a total of 120 minutes failed to separate the two sides as the game ended 0-0.

With the shoot-out level at 3-2 after Bruno Alves rattled the bar it was Cesc Fabregas who netted the winner.

Portugal set about disrupting Spain's rhythm from the kick-off by pressing their opponents high up the pitch. It worked for the opening few minutes as Spain struggled to get their foot on the ball but they soon forged a chance for themselves.

Andres Iniesta played a give-and-go down the left flank with Jordi Alba before passing the ball into the box. Negredo could not get a shot away but managed to stab it back to the top of the box where Alvaro Arbeloa tried to caress it into the top corner but his attempt flew over the bar.

Cristiano Ronaldo was proving difficult for Del Bosque's men to deal with. Two charging runs down the left however failed to result in anything to truly test keeper Iker Casillas with a free kick and a wild volley on the spin inside the opening 25 minutes.

Nine minutes after half-time Vicente Del Bosque admitted his pre-match gamble had not paid off as he replaced Alvaro Negredo with Fabregas.

Paulo Bento's side were getting a lot of joy from putting the Spaniards under pressure in their own half but Almeida failed to make the most of it in the 57th minute.

After his side won the ball back he could have passed to Nani or Ronaldo but instead produced an ambitious shot from 35 yards that did not trouble Casillas.

Shortly after the hour mark, Xavi got the semi's first shot on target with a drilled attempt that was straight at Rui Patricio, shortly followed by a Ronaldo free kick that flashed over the bar.

In the 90th minute Portugal found themselves in a four-on-one but when the ball was shifted to the left Ronaldo blazed wide.

Del Bosque's side controlled the extra 30 minutes but Rui Patricio brilliantly thwarted both Iniesta and Jesus Navas either side of the break to ensure the game went to a penalty shoot-out.

Both teams got off to the worst start possible as Patricio and Casillas both saved from Alonso and Moutinho respectively. Iniesta, Pepe, Pique, Nani and Ramos all scored before Bruno Alves hit the bar to make the score 3-2 to Spain after four penalties each.

It offered Fabregas the chance to book their spot in the final and he obliged, scoring via the post and setting up a date in Kiev for the final with either Germany or Italy on July 1.