Spain's Mikel Merino celebrates after scoring his sides second goal...

Spain's Mikel Merino celebrates after scoring his sides second goal during a quarter final match between Germany and Spain at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Stuttgart, Germany, Friday, July 5, 2024. Credit: AP/Manu Fernandez

STUTTGART, Germany — Like father, like son.

Clenching his fist, Mikel Merino ran around the corner flag with a broad smile on his face before putting his head back and letting out a yell of pure joy into the Stuttgart sky.

Merino had just scored the last-gasp goal that sent Spain into the semifinals of the European Championship with a 2-1 win over host nation Germany after extra time of a pulsating match.

The 28-year-old Merino then recreated his father’s celebrations after Miguel Merino scored a goal in the same stadium more than three decades ago.

That goal came in a UEFA Cup match between Miguel Merino’s Osasuna and Stuttgart in November 1991.

“This stadium must have something that gives us luck," the younger Merino said. “My father scored here. It is a special stadium for us.”

Merino senior told Spanish radio Cadena SER he felt “enormous” pride when his son scored and imitated his celebration.

Spain's Mikel Merino, centre, scores his side's second goal during...

Spain's Mikel Merino, centre, scores his side's second goal during a quarter final match between Germany and Spain at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Stuttgart, Germany, Friday, July 5, 2024. Credit: AP/Ariel Schalit

“The point was to make me look bad,” joked Miguel Merino, who never played for Spain. “If he had already surpassed me, now I don’t have the exclusivity of the Stuttgart goal, either. Now I just have to be quiet and give him a big kiss, because he deserves it.”

Miguel Merino put Osasuna 2-0 up and his team went on to win the return leg of the second round 3-2.

In another coincidence, it was the same television commentator on TVE for both goals.

Merino also made his Spain debut at Stuttgart, in a Nations League match in September 2020 that ended 1-1 following a stoppage-time equalizer for La Roja.

At Euro 2024, Merino came on 10 minutes before the end of regulation time against Germany, with Spain leading 1-0 following fellow substitute Dani Olmo’s opener early in the second half.

Another substitute, Florian Wirtz, levelled for Germany in the final minute to send the quarterfinal to extra time.

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AP sports writer Joseph Wilson in Barcelona contributed.

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