28.06.2021

Spain Beat Croatia in Eight Goal Thriller

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Euro 2020 Round of 16
Croatia 3-5 Spain
Monday June 28, Telia Parken, Copenhagen

Goals: Croatia - Pedri 20’ (own goal), Orsic 85’, Pasalic 90+3’; Spain - Pablo Sarabia 38’, Azpilicueta 57’, Torres 77’, Morata 100’, Oyarzabal 102’

RPL Players: Croatia - Nikola Vlasic (CSKA Moscow), Dejan Lovren (Zenit, suspended for the game)

Finalists at the World Cup in Russia, Croatia got off to a dream start when Spanish goalkeeper Unai Simon misjudged a pass that ended up in his own net. The ninth own goal of the tournament put the home side in pole position to win the tie, but Spain equalised some 20 minutes later thanks to PSG midfielder Pablo Sarabia.

Spain had the bulk of possession and most of the opportunities in regular time, enjoying 67% of the ball and 15 shots. This finally materialised in the second half when a Ferran Torres assisted header from Cesar Azpilicueta put Spain in front. Torres then popped up with a goal of his own, seemingly putting the tie to bed. However, the match was far from over. Dinamo Zagreb attacker Mislav Orsic pulled one back with minutes left on the clock, giving his side a glimmer of hope. Croatia then sensationally levelled things with a header from ex-Spartak Moscow loanee Mario Pasalic, sending an entire nation into raptures. 

Extra time turned out to be as eventful as the two halves before it, Alvaro Morata scored a truly cathartic volley to put his side in front at the 100th minute mark. A minute later, Real Sociedad winger Mikel Oyarzabal came in clutch at the far post and sealed Spain’s berth in the quarter finals.

CSKA Moscow talisman Nikola Vlasic was subbed off in the 79th minute after an uninspiring performance, and was the only RPL player involved in the game. Spain came out in top in an absolutely thrilling encounter, and will now face either France or Switzerland in St. Petersburg on July 2nd. 


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