Euro 2020 Round of 16: Croatia 3-5 Spain
It was a game for the ages and definitely one of the games of Euro 2020 as Spain overcame Croatia. La Furia Roja will now face Switzerland in the quarterfinals.
Spain reached the last eight of the competition in dramatic fashion as they needed extra time to beat Croatia. The game saw eight goals in what was a day to remember for football neutrals.
It was a disastrous start for Spain as goalkeeper Unai Simon had a shocker when he failed to control Pedri’s pass back to him. The ball touched his foot and found the back of the net to give Croatia a surprising lead.
However, Spain were the better side and looked threatening throughout. 18 minutes after the unfortunate way to go down 1-0, Spain hit back as Pablo Sarabia found the net. The Spaniards finally breached Croatia’s goal and it was game on after 38 minutes.
The first half ended 1-1 and you felt that Spain would kick on from a strong performance. They did just that as Ferran Torres picked out Cesar Azpilicueta who headed home to give them the lead after 57 minutes.
20 minutes later, Torres turned goalscorer as he latched onto a quick freekick. Crotia were caught out of position and the Manchester City attacker’s pace was just too much to handle. He neatly finished the play to put Spain up 3-1.
Croatia fight back
Just when it looked all but over, Mislav Orsic had his say as he managed to pull one back for the Croatians in the 85th minute. After a scampering of the ball in Spain’s six-yard box, Orsic managed to get his shot over the line that was confirmed by goal-line technology.
Croatia were buoyed by that goal and started to believe that they could find the equaliser. The goal did come in the 2nd minute of stoppage time after 90 minutes as Mario Pasalic made it 3-3 with a beautiful header.
The crowd went absolutely ballistic and we were witnessing a special game. This sent the game into extra time.
Croatia had a golden opportunity to take the lead but were denied by Unai Simon who redeemed himself. The Spanish keeper pulled off an unbelievable save to deny Andrej Kramaric a goal.
One the other end, Alvaro Morata scored a stunning left-footed goal to give Spain the lead once again in the 100th minute.
Dani Olmo then picked out Mikel Oyarzabal with a perfect low cross, three minutes later. Oyarzabal calmly controlled the ball and put it in the back of the net.
This sealed a 5-3 victory for Spain in extra time in what was a thrilling contest between two of Europe’s top footballing nations.
Although there were no goals in the second half of extra time, there was no shortage of drama. Croatia came agonisingly close to pulling a goal back while Spain had several chances to increase their lead.
Spain will now face Switzerland in the last eight of Europe’s premier international competition after the Swiss upset world champions France.