Euro 2020: Spain beat Croatia in an 8 goal thriller to enter quarter finals

In what was a goal fest between Spain and Croatia, Spain clinched a massive 5-3 victory after scoring twice in extra time.

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Spain beat Croatia in an 8 goal thriller to enter quarter finals. In what was a goal fest between Spain and Croatia, Spain clinched a massive 5-3 victory after scoring twice in extra time.

Croatia took the lead at the 20th minute, after Unai Simon failed to stop the pass by Pedri from the middle of the park as the ball bounced past him and into the net. There have been nine own goals scored at Euro 2020, as many as in all the previous editions of the competition combined.

Spanish midfielder Pedri’s own-goal came from a distance of 49 yards, the longest own goal ever netted in the European Championships and the first one ever from outside the box.

It was Pablo Sarabia who equalized for Spain at the 38th minute. Although Livakovic did well to dive to his left and parry the ball away, however, the rebound rolled kindly to Sarabia, who did the rest.

Twelve minutes into the second half, Cesar Azpilicueta powered Spain into the lead after scoring off an inch perfect cross from Ferran Torres on the left flank. Azpilicueta, who scored his first ever goal for Spain (27th cap), has become Spain’s oldest ever goal scorer at the European Championships (31y 304d).

At the 76th minute, Ferran Torres made it 3-1 and at that point, it looked like Spain was heading to victory. Ferran Torres (21y 120d) is the youngest player to both score and assist in a single major tournament match (World Cup/Euros) for Spain since Cesc Fabregas (21y 37d) vs Russia at EURO 2008.

But the Croatians didn’t lose hope and pulled one back just nine minutes later through Mislav Orsic, whose shot initially looked like a goal line clearance by Azpilicueta but the goal was given after referring to the goal line technology.

As the Euro campaign seemed to come to an end for the Croatians, substitute Mario Pasalic scored a stunning header in the 92nd minute to net the equaliser and force extra time.

Alvaro Morata redeemed himself by firing home in the 100th minute and firing Spain into the lead once again. A few days back, Morata revealed that his family was being threatened by fans due to his poor performance and today his extra time goal has helped Spain book a spot in the quarter-final. Alvaro Morata has scored his fifth goal at the European Championships, becoming Spain’s joint-highest scorer in the competition along with Fernando Torres.

Mikel Oyarzabal made it 5-3 just three minutes later and that, finally, proved to be enough for La Roja. Spain became the first side in European Championship history to score 5+ goals in consecutive matches.

Spain’s victory means that they’re headed to Russia for their quarter final clash on July 2 (21:30 IST) against the winners between France and Switzerland which began just few minutes after their win.