This is Sportstar's match blog of the EURO 2020 outing between Croatia and Spain which happened at the Parken Stadium.
That's it for today. Thanks for tuning in!
MATCH REPORT |
This could be one of those match of the tournament contenders. Goals from Pablo Sarabia, Cesar Azpilicueta, Ferran Torres, Alvaro Morata and Mikel Oyarzabal gave Spain a 5-3 victory over Croatia. The team will now face either France or Switzerland in the quarterfinals in St. Petersburg.
AND IT'S FINALLY OVER! FINAL SCORE: SPAIN 5 - 3 CROATIA!!!
120' WHAT A CHANCE FOR SPAIN! Mikel Oyarzabal receives the ball inside the box. He tries to not be selfish and sets up Dani Olmo, whose shot hits the crossbar. Both Oyarzabal and Alvaro Morata are not able to get to the rebound.
117' CORNER FOR SPAIN! Dani Olmo will take this one as usual. He takes it short. Jordi Alba passes it back to Olmo, who sends the ball to Rodri. Spain eventually sends the ball back to Unai Simon and decides to waste some more time. Croatia's bench looks extremely animated.
113' BRILLIANT STUFF FROM SPAIN! The team is just passing the ball around and frustrating Croatia. Meanwhile, the Croatian manager Zlatko Dalic has decided to bring on Luka Ivanusec to replace his skipper Luka Modric on the field. One last throw of the dice from him.
109' CROATIA PRESSING HIGH! Ante Budimir almost pulled one back for his team, only to miss the target by a whisker. A few moments later, Mislav Orsic tried to create an opportunity up front. But he was denied by the Spanish defence. Are we in for a surprise here?
THE SECOND HALF OF EXTRA TIME IS UNDERWAY!
105' JUST A MINUTE OF ADDED TIME! Spain can't lose this game from here. Croatia needs a miracle to advance to the EURO 2020 quarterfinals. However, football is all about those magical moments!
103' GOOOOAAAAALLLLL!!!! MIKEL OYARZABAL SCORESSSSS!!! SPAIN 5 - 3 CROATIA!!!!! Oyarzabal was put through by Dani Olmo, who sent a low cross from the right flank, and he showed brilliant composure inside the box to fire the ball into the bottom left corner.
100' GOOOOAAAAALLLLLL!!!!!!! ALVARO MORATA SCORESSSS!!! SPAIN 4 - 3 CROATIA!!!!! The super-sub Dani Olmo sends a precise lofted cross into the box. Morata latches on to it and finishes with a quick shot which sends the ball into the top of the net.
98' VERY CLOSE! Both teams could have scored at either end. Firstly, Croatia had a wonderful chance to take the lead again. Spain keeper Unai Simon pulled off a remarkable save to deny Croatia's Andrej Kramaric. Meanwhile, a minute later, Spain's Dani Olmo had a shot blocked by Croatia defender Duje Caleta-Car, who put in an amazing sliding tackle.
94' CHANCE FOR CROATIA! Marcelo Brozovic sends a long ball forward. His teammate Ante Budimir tries to get to it. However, Spain centre-back Pau Torres is able to clear the danger. There are calls for handball against Torres but it was just good defending.
EXTRA TIME BEGINS!
Thirty minutes of extra time to follow. Stay tuned!
AND IT'S FULL-TIME! SCORE: SPAIN 3 - 3 CROATIA!!!
90+2' SIX MINUTES OF STOPPAGE TIME HAS BEEN ADDED ON AT THE END OF THE SECOND HALF! AND GOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLLL!!!! MARIO PASALIC SCORESSS!!! CROATIA 3 - 3 SPAIN! A perfect lofted pass from Mislav Orsic finds Pasalic, who jumps the highest inside the box and steers a close-range header into the right side of goal.
88' CHANCE FOR CROATIA! The goal-scorer Orsic swings in a cross into the middle. But the Spain defence clears the ball away. The rebound falls to another Croatian substitute Josip Brekalo, who fires his shot well wide off target.
85' GOOOOAAAALLLLLLL!!!!!!!! MISLAV ORSIC SCORESSSSS!!!! CROATIA 2 - 3 SPAIN!!! Another game of pinball, this time inside the Spanish box. The ball eventually falls to Orsic who has a shot on target. It appears as though Simon makes a last-ditch clearance initially but the goalline technology gives Croatia the goal.
81' FEW MORE SUBSTITUTIONS! Both teams make two changes each after the goal. Jordi Alba and Fabian Ruiz replace Jose Gaya and Koke, respectively, for Spain. On the other hand, the Croatian duo of Mario Pasalic and Ante Budimir have come on for Nikola Vlasic and Mateo Kovacic.
77' GOAAAAALLLLL!!!!!!! FERRAN TORRES SCORESSSS!!! SPAIN 3 - 1 CROATIA!! The Croatian players just weren't ready. Some of them were still having their drinks break as the referee blew his whistle. Pau Torres quickly sent a long ball towards Ferran who dribbled past the last man Domagoj Vida with ease and found the back of the net with a crisp finish!
74' DOUBLE CHANGE FOR SPAIN! Dani Olmo and Pau Torres have come on to replace the goal-scorer Pablo Sarabia and centre-back Eric Garcia on the field. Meanwhile, Croatia's Josip Juranovic has made way for Josip Brekalo in the middle.
70' OFFSIDE! Croatia forward Andrej Kramaric was a little too eager to get to a pass from his teammate Marcelo Brozovic here. The linesman raised his flag immediately and the referee awarded Spain a set-piece.
66' SUBSTITUTION FOR CROATIA! Ante Rebic has made way for fellow forward Mislav Orsic in the middle. Croatian boss Dalic looks extremely animated on the sidelines.
63' FOUL! The referee has awarded a free-kick to Spain now. Croatia skipper Luka Modric had come up with a silly challenge on an opposition player. He is fortunate enough to get away without a card.
60' Spain has deservedly taken the lead after dominating a major part of this round of 16 game against Croatia. Head coach Luis Enrique should be relieved after the early mishap which put his side behind.
57' GOOOOAAAAAALLLLL!!!!!!!! CESAR AZPILICUETA SCORESSS!!! SPAIN 2 - 1 CROATIA!!!!! Ferran Torres came up with a brilliant move on the left wing and eventually sent a cross into the box. Azpilicueta got past his marker with ease and slotted the ball into goal with his head.
54' CHANCE FOR SPAIN! Ferran Torres swings a cross into the middle and Pablo Sarabia gets on the end of it, but Croatia keeper Dominik Livakovic shows good awareness and comes off his line to thwart the move.
51' Andrej Kramaric, who replaced Bruno Petkovic for Croatia just before the second half began, has troubled the Spanish defence a bit here. Manager Zlatko Dalic will be hoping that he could find the back of the net.
48' FREE-KICK FOR SPAIN! Koke will take this one. However, he's unable to clear the wall with his shot. The rebound falls to Jose Gaya whose cross is intercepted by a Croatian defender yet again.
THE SECOND HALF IS UNDERWAY!
Forty-five minutes to go Stay tuned!
AND IT'S HALF-TIME! SPAIN 1 - 1 CROATIA!!!
45' ONE MINUTE OF STOPPAGE TIME HAS BEEN ADDED ON AT THE END OF THE FIRST HALF! Alvaro Morata receives the ball just outside the box and let's one fly. But the ball misses the target.
41' CORNER FOR SPAIN! Koke will take this one. He wins one more set-piece with his cross. He sends another ball into the box but the Croatian defence averts the danger quite easily this time around.
38' GOAAAAALLLLLL!!!!!!!! PABLO SARABIA SCORESSSS!!! SPAIN 1 - 1 CROATIA!!!!! Chaos inside the Croatian box and the Spaniards have made maximum use of it. The ball rebounds to Sarabia after a melee in the box, and he easily beats Livakovic from close range. There was actually a Luka Modric handball inside the box which was played on just before the goal.
33' CORNER FOR SPAIN! Pablo Sarabia is on set-piece duty now. He sends a swinging cross into the box. But Croatia centre-back Duje Caleta-Car is alert as he averts the danger for his side with the clearance.
30' FOUL! Spain wins a free-kick here. Croatian attacker Ante Rebic tripped Sergio Busquets with a mistimed sliding tackle. The referee stops the game and eventually decides on just giving Rebic a warning.
27' WHAT A MISS! Spain forward Pablo Sarabia misses a promising goal-scoring opportunity! He rises high for a cross from the left flank and unleashes a poor header which goes way over the crossbar.
24' CROATIA CHANCE! Nikola Vlasic weaves through the Spain defence with ease and gets into a good position. He pulls the trigger in an effort to beat Unai Simon, but fails as the ball zooms around the right post.
20' GOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLL!!!!!! CROATIA 1 - 0 SPAIN!!! PEDRI SCORES AN OWN GOAL!!!! Spain goalkeeper Simon has committed the blunder of his life. He has put the ball into his own net due to lack of concentration. His teammate Pedri decided to send a back pass but Simon just let it past him into goal, after a slight touch.
18' Spain has clearly dominated the possessional, passing and attacking stats so far in this match. Koke, Ferran Torres and Alvaro Morata have bothered the Croatia defence a lot here.
15' SPAIN CHANCE! Midfielder Koke, who made a comeback to Luis Enrique's Spanish side after a two-year absence, sends a promising through ball, but the Croatia defence is alert as it cuts out the pass.
12' CHANCE FOR CROATIA! Croatia's Josko Gvardiol delivers a fine lofted cross into the penalty area, but it's cleared by Spain centre-back Eric Garcia. This was the first proper chance for the Croatian outfit.
9' FREE-KICK FOR SPAIN! Croatia midfielder Mateo Kovacic brought down Ferran Torres and the referee blew his whistle. The set-piece is from a good position. Koke took it but wasn't able to create a goal-scoring opportunity.
6' ANOTHER SPAIN MOVE! This was another long pass and Ferran Torres rushed forward on the right flank. He got to the ball and headed it towards Koke inside the box. But the finish wasn't ideal as Croatia regained possession.
3' EARLY CHANCE FOR SPAIN! Defender Aymeric Laporte plays a brilliant long ball across field from the other half. Jose Gaya almost gets to it but Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic comes off his line to collect the ball.
AND THE MATCH BEGINS!
Croatia must quickly get over the news of winger Ivan Perisic's positive test for COVID-19 and, with plenty of replacements on hand, focus on Monday's Euro 2020 round-of-16 clash with Spain, coach Zlatko Dalic said.
FULL STORY |
Spain coach Luis Enrique said the police should look into threats made to Alvaro Morata and his family during the European Championship, describing the treatment the striker had faced as "a serious crime".
READ MORE |
The team lineups are out!
CROATIA XI: D Livakovic (G), D Vida, N Vlasic, D Caleta-Car, J Gvardiol, J Juranovic, L Modric (C), M Kovacic, M Brozovic, B Petkovic, A Rebic.
COACH - Zlatko Dalic.
SPAIN XI: U Simon (G), C Azpilicueta, E Garcia, A Laporte, J Gaya, Koke, S Busquets (C), Pedri, F Torres, A Morata, P Sarabia.
COACH - Luis Enrique.
Spain has finally clicked into gear after a sloppy start at Euro 2020 but will face its sternest test yet in the last 16 from Croatia, led by a sensational Luka Modric.
The champagne football certainly flowed in Spain's 5-0 win over Slovakia as coach Luis Enrique had promised after dull draws with Sweden and Poland but his side had the luck of facing an accommodating opponent and Croatia will not be so generous.
"In every sport they play, Croatians are always very competitive, they are lion-hearted and give everything for their country," said Spain forward Dani Olmo, who spent five years at Croatia's premier club Dinamo Zagreb.
"They really appreciate every objective they achieve. They have proven themselves in this Euros and other tournaments, they thrive in difficult situations. There's no favourite in this fixture, it's anyone's game."
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Modric, 36, led Croatia into the next round with a sumptuous goal in the 3-1 win over Scotland while also setting up Ivan Perisic's headed goal with a deadly corner. The 2018 Ballon d'Or winner is Croatia's talisman and arguably the most talented player in Monday's game.
Spain's players know Modric all too well after nine magical seasons with Real Madrid although they will not be able to count on any inside information on the midfielder as Luis Enrique decided not to include any Real players in his squad.
"He is their motor, the heartbeat of Croatia who conducts their orchestra. All their play goes through his feet," Olmo added. "But Croatia is not just Modric."
Olmo also said that, unlike Sweden, Poland and Slovakia, Croatia is likely to come out and attack Spain and not just defend, which could play into its hands after struggling in its first two group games.
It should benefit from a smoother pitch at Copenhagen's Parken Stadium after complaining about the surface at Seville's La Cartuja. Being away from a sometimes impatient home crowd could also help.
- CRACKING ENCOUNTER -
Spain was beaten 2-1 by Croatia in the Euro 2016 group stage. It then hammered Croatia 6-0 in the UEFA Nations League in 2018, only to lose 3-2 away from home two months later.
The 2018 World Cup runner-up will be missing centre back Dejan Lovren through suspension, with Duje Caleta-Car set to take his place.
Caleta-Car said Croatia must improve defensively after conceding in each of its three group matches. "We've let in some soft goals as we haven't been compact enough. Against Spain, we have to keep it airtight in the midfield and at the back to close them down," he told reporters on Saturday.
Midfielder Mateo Kovacic added: "They know we are a good team too so it should be a cracking encounter. Spain has phenomenal midfield players, but we can match them in every department. We have to take the game to them."
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