Recap (highlights below): Two goals from Antoine Griezmann sent host France into the Euro 2016 final against Portugal and ended Germany’s hopes of following up World Cup glory with European silverware. The turning point of a pulsating semifinal in Marseille came in first-half injury time. Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger, winning his 120th cap, committed an unfathomable error, raising his arm to a cross in the box, leaving him with no cause for complaint when the ball struck his hand off the head of Patrice Evra and a penalty was awarded. Griezmann sent Manuel Neuer the wrong way from 12 yards and France had a lead it never relinquished.
Such an outcome was hard to envisage for much of the first half. After a fast start from the French, Germany assumed full control, playing with supreme passing and movement against a France team sitting deep behind the ball and looking decidedly rocky. Hugo Lloris had to make a fine save to deny Emre Can, but Germany ultimately lacked the ruthlessness it may well have had if Mario Gomez had been fit.
With Sami Khedira and Mats Hummels also unavailable and Jerome Boateng being forced off with an injury just past the hour mark, Germany is entitled to feel hard done by. But it was also heavily culpable in its own downfall.
The second goal for France, 18 minutes, from the end, contained multiple errors. First Joshua Kimmich was robbed in his own penalty box by Pogba, who then brilliantly bewitched Shkodran Mustafi down the left before chipping in a cross of real quality. Neuer could only get a limp glove to the ball, succeeding only in pushing it into the path of the alert Griezmann, who stabbed the ball into the net. France’s two star men, dropped for the second game of the tournament, had combined to secure France a win that ends a decade of major tournament under performance since reaching the final of the 2006 World Cup.
Germany could have got back into the game. Kimmich hit the post and forced a superb save from Lloris in jury time, but France earned its reward for being far more compact in the second half. Having ousted the World Cup holders, France must now ensure there is no let down in the final when Didier Deschamps’ side will be heavily favored to beat Portugal.
FULL TIME: France 2-0 Germany (Griezmann, 45+1, 72)
France will play Portugal in the Euro 2016 final on Sunday thanks to two goals from Golden Boot leader Antoine Griezmann. A penalty needlessly conceded by Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger in first-half injury time turned the match decisively in the host country's favor after Germany had dominated much of the opening period. France looked far more composed in the second half and in Griezmann it had the match's outstanding player. Another Germany mishap in its own bow allowed Griezmann to put the game out of the world champion's reach.
93 mins: What a save from Lloris! Kimmich powers a header down into the corner from six yards and Lloris makes a sensational diving stop. Moments later Gotze heads wide with the goal at his mercy. That's surely it for Germany now.
92 mins: Griezmann gets a huge, and fully deserved, ovation as he walks off to be replaced by Yohan Cabaye.
90 mins: Four minutes of injury time before France can celebrate a place in the Euro 2016 final.
88 mins: Germany looks like it has nothing left now. The French crowd is loving the final few minutes, cheering every pass from its team. This sort of comfort was hard to imagine when Fracne was on the back foot for much of the first half.
86 mins: Griezmann so close to a hat-trick. The Atletico Madrid forward shows incredible pace at this late stage of the game to burst clear of the Germany defense before cutting inside, but his right foot shot was straight at Neuer.
85 mins: Sissoko earns a huge cheer from the crowd in Marseille for winning a goal kick up against a hugely frustrated and dejected looking Jonas Hector.
82 mins: A chance for Germany to get a goal back goes begging as Howedes heads over a free-kick from Kroos.
79 mins: Joachim Low makes his final role of the dice, bringing on the young Schalke attacker Leroy Sane for Schweinsteiger.
Here's a video of Griezmann's second goal to put France 2-0 up:
76 mins: Draxler now goes close for Germany, curling a free-kick just past the post. Germany need something special, and quick.
74 mins: Kimmich hits the post! Germany immediately come close to responding and Kimmich's superb effort beat Lloris but clipped off the post.
GOAL! France 2-0 Germany (Griezmann, 72)
It's Griezmann again, with his sixth goal of the competition, and that may well be the goal that sends France through to a final with Portugal. It was a terrible goal for Germany to conceded, with Pogba intercepting the ball in the box, putting in a cross that Neuer could only palm out to the alert Griezmann, who poked the ball into the net.
71 mins: France makes its first substitution and its a predictable one. N'Golo KAnte comes on to sit in front of the back four in place of Dimitri Payet. With France now sitting back, it's a change that makes sense.
68 mins: Umtiti makes his latest in a long line of well-timed interceptions to stop Germany from turning in dangerous low crosses into the box. Deschamps showed faith in the young defender by selecting him in favor of the available again Adil Rami, and the new Barcelona signing has certainly repaid it so far.
67mins: Germany makes its second change and it's an offensive one. Emre Can goes on and in his place comes the man who won the World Cup for Germany, Mario Gotze. The Bayern Munich man has done little since that famous strike, but now would be a very good time to come to the fore once more.
64 mins: The France goal has certainly had an impact on Germany. Its passing and movement, so crisp for much of the first half is now more rushed and less precise.
63 mins: Laurent Koscielny rises to a corner, but it was going to take some header to have a chance of beating Neuer from 15 yards out and moving backward. In the end the Arsenal defender heads onto the roof of the net.
61 mins: Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi comes on for Germany with Boateng limping down the sideline.
60 mins: Another blow for Germany, with Boateng going down and the Germn doctor immediately signalling he will have to be replaced. That adds to the injury woes for Joachim Low, who went into the game without Sami Khedira and Mario Gomez.
57 mins: The possession is all in favor of Germany now, but the team will need to produce better passes than one just now from Howedes, who tried to match the pinpoint long passing of Boateng but succeeded only in lashing the ball out of play. There's plenty of time yet for Germany not to resort to forcing the play.
53 mins: France is now packign every man behind the ball, challenging Germany to break it down. That may be a dangerous move with so much time still to go, but France looks more compact and organized than for much of the first half.
50 mins: Julian Draxler earns himself a yellow card for a poor challenge from behind on Moussa Sissoko.
49 mins: There's been no let up int he tempo at the start of the second half. Both sides still looking dangerous going forward. Will France regret not getting that second goal?
47 mins: A huge chance for France to double its lead right at the start of the second half. Pogba found Giroud in space inside the box with a fine pass, but the striker again took too long giving Germany's defense time to get in a block.
Second Half Kickoff: Germany gets the semifinal back underway, needing a goal if it is to keep its hopes alive of becoming just the third team to add the European Championship crown two years after World Cup glory.
Here's the video of Schweinsteiger's handball and Griezmann putting France 1-0 up in first-half injury time:
HALFTIME! France 1-0 Germany
Germany will wondering how it goes into the interval behind. The world champion dominated much of the first half, other than the opening and closing few minutes. But it was in those dying minutes of the period that Germany's captain stuck his arm up to hand France a penalty and the lead. Still, the way the first half has gone and how dangerous Germany ahs looked, this semifinal is far from over.
GOAL! France 1-0 Germany (Griezmann, 45+2)
Griezmann sends Neuer the wrong way from 12 yards and France take a lead out of nothing. It's hard to understand what Schweinsteiger was thinking challenging for the ball with Patrice Evra with his hand.
45+1 mins: It's a penalty to France! Handball against Schweinsteiger as a cross came in.
43 mins: A big opening for France. Giroud finds himself running clear into the box, but how France will have wished it was Griezmann instead. Giroud's lack of pace was crudely shown up, allowing Howedes to get back and block his shot.
42 mins: This is a better spell for France at the end of the half. And ofr the first time since the opening minutes, it manages to threaten the Germany goal from open play. Griezmann fires into the side netting.
40 mins: Germany appeal for a penalty for a second time after Schweinsteiger goes down from a corner in a tussle with Pogba. It would have been very harsh to have pointed to the spot on that occasion.
39 mins: Matuidi follows Benedikt Howedes in committing a sloppy give away, but it again comes to nothing, with Muller trying an ambitious shot from 30 yards that Lloris gets down to repel. The pace has just slowed a little in the past few minutes, which will be something of a relief for the French.
37 mins: The fast start from France seems a long time ago now. But the host has at least just managed its first spell of concentrated possession in several minutes. It leads to a free-kick from 30 yards that Pogba this time strikes but again Neuer saves it comfortably.
32 mins: Another opening for Germany in the box. Joshua Kimmich crossed into the area and Draxler and Muller just failed to get a clean shot away, with Samuel Umtiti getting in a crucial challenge six yards out.
29 mins: France is sitting far too deep, leaving Olivier Giroud completely isolatd up front. Not sure how many touches the Arsenal striker has so far, but it's certainly not many.
27 mins: France are really holding on. Some great movement down the left from Germany causes to chaos in the French box and eventually leads to a scurling shot from Schweinsteiger from 20 yards that Lloris has to tip over the crossbar.
25 mins: Dimitri Payet lines up his first free-kick of the evening. From all of 30 yards, it's well struck, but Neuer was able to make a comfortable save low to his right.
23 mins: With Kante left out and just Pogba and Blaise Matuidi in central midfield, France arte being overrun. Germany has three men in there, as well as well as Mesut Ozil is drifting all over the place to cause further problems. France is having to rely on counter-attacks now.
21 mins: Appeal for a penalty for Germany as Toni Kroos goes down under a challenge from Paul Pogba. The referee is unmoved. It's only a matter of time before a Germany goal, though, if things continue this way.
18 mins: It's almost a back three for Germany in possession, with Bastian Schweinsteiger dropping back and the two full-backs allowed to push forward. With France sitting off, possession is too easy for Germany right now.
14 mins: It's all Germany now. Hugo Lloris follows Neuer in making a big early save, denying a low drive from Can that appeared destined for the bottom corner of the net.
13 mins: Germany makes some inroads for the first time, with Emre Can getting forward and attacking what has been France's weakness so far in this tournament down the left. The Liverpool midfielder puts a low ball across and Muller sticks out a leg, but his effort goes wide of the far post.
11 mins: Germany has composed itself a little, but its possession is still far more ponderous than that of the French. France doing a good job of closing down its opponents.
7 mins: Germany simply can't cope with France's passing and movement here. Griezmann, whose move into a central role has been such a positive for France, has just found his way through into the box, and it took a good low save from Manuel Neuer to prevent Germany falling behind. If the chance had been on Griezmann's left, rather than right, it might have been a different story.
6 m footins: Feeding off the energy of its supporters, it has been an impressively fast start for France, getting on the front foot and causing Germany some nervousness at the back. Already it, thankfully, looks set to be a much more enthralling encounter than the first semifinal between Portugal and Wales.
3 mins: Dimitri Payet, the man who carried France thorugh the gorup stage, has already found some inviting space on the left, but Germany was able to block his cross. Joachim Low won't want the West Ham danger man to be allowed that sort of freedom too many more times.
2 mins: Marseille is known for the passion of its supporters and it's a superb atmosphere in the early going at the Stade Velodrome. Every France tackle is being cheered and every German touch booed.
KICKOFF! France get the second Euro 2016 semifinaql underway.
2:55 p.m. EDT: The teams are out for the national anthems. Kickoff is almost upon us at the impressive looking Stade Velodrome.
2 p.m. EDT: Germany has responded to the loss of Sami Khedira and Mario Gomez by switching to a 4-3-3. Emre Can and Bastian Schweinsteiger come into the midfield, with Thomas Muller set to move into the striker role. Benedikt Howedes will switch over from right-back to the center, with Julian Draxler also coming into the team from the win over Italy. France, meanwhile, go with the same lineup that beat Iceland, meaning N’Golo Kante and Adil Rami will have to settle for a place on the bench after returning from suspension.
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) July 7, 2016
— Equipe de France (@equipedefrance) July 7, 2016
Preview: The host nation will meet the world champion on Thursday as France and Germany go head-to-head in an eagerly awaited matchup with the prize of facing Portugal in Sunday’s Euro 2016 final on the line. While the first semifinal between Portugal and Wales featured two teams happily exceeding expectations, anything less than taking home the trophy will be a disappointment for the sides squaring off in Marseille.
For France, it is a chance to finally deliver once again on the big stage after a succession of disappointing exits at major tournaments since reaching the final of the 2006 World Cup. In Brazil two years ago, it was against Germany that France bowed out, in a limp 1-0 quarterfinal defeat. That result continued France’s drought against Germany in major tournaments, which stretches back to the 1958 World Cup.
“No one can change history, but there are new chapters to be written,” France coach Didier Deschamps said ahead of the match. “This page is blank and it's up to the players to fill it. The players must have belief in themselves and we need the crowd to get behind them too. We're playing the best side in the world but we're going to give it all we have.”
Deschamps admitted that France “haven’t done everything brilliantly” on its route through to the semifinals. Yet, while the team was unimpressive in the opening rounds, it provided by some distance its most impressive performance in beating Iceland 5-2 in the quarterfinals. Deschamps now must decide whether to change a winning lineup and bring N’Golo Kante and Adil Rami back in after suspension.
Deschamps’ Germany counterpart Joachim Löw has selection issues of his own, but for very different reasons. Without defender Mats Hummels, the man who headed the only goal in the 2014 World Cup quarterfinal, to suspension, Germany will also be missing Sami Khedira and Mario Gómez, who picked up injuries during a nervy penalty shootout win over Italy in the quarterfinals.
There is some good news on the fitness front, however, with Löw confirming that captain Bastian Schweinsteiger will be available and, indeed, will start the semifinal.
Check back here from 3 p.m. for video highlights and live score updates from the second Euro 2016 semifinal.