Fabian Ruiz and Lamine Yamal dazzle as Spain down Croatia at Euro 2024

Following Germany’s impressive start to Euro 2024, Spain, the three-time champions, delivered their own resounding statement with a commanding 3-0 victory over Croatia in Berlin.

Led by veteran playmaker Luka Modric, Croatia initially matched Spain’s pace in a high-caliber contest at the Olympiastadion, maintaining parity for much of the opening half-hour. However, Spain seized the lead when Rodri intercepted in midfield, setting up Fabian Ruiz to thread a precise throughball to Alvaro Morata. Long criticized at previous tournaments, Morata displayed cool confidence, capitalizing on his excellent season at Atletico Madrid to notch his seventh goal in European Championship finals.

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Fabian Ruiz, the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder, then took the spotlight by dribbling past Modric and Marcelo Brozovic before unleashing a powerful strike into the bottom corner, extending Spain’s lead. Despite Croatia’s valiant efforts with Mateo Kovacic and Brozovic coming close to equalizing, Spain dealt a decisive blow just before halftime. Lamine Yamal, the Barcelona 16-year-old and the youngest player in Euro Championship history, celebrated by assisting Dani Carvajal, who slotted home, continuing his momentum from a recent Champions League final goal for Real Madrid.

In the second half, Croatia maintained resilience with notable possession and a higher expected goals (xG) figure compared to Spain. However, injuries to Morata and Rodri slightly marred Spain’s otherwise satisfying day under coach Luis de la Fuente, who leads Group B with a commanding performance.

Despite Spain’s dominance, goalkeeper Unai Simon’s erratic play raised concerns when he lost possession in his own box, resulting in Rodri conceding a penalty to Bruno Petkovic. Although Petkovic initially scored from the ensuing scramble, his effort was disallowed due to encroachment, preserving Spain’s clean sheet and ultimate victory.

Spain’s comprehensive win over Croatia serves as a formidable statement early in Euro 2024, reaffirming their status as a team to watch in the tournament.

 

Spain vs. Croatia final score

Fulltime Goal scorers
Spain 3 Morata 29′ Fabian Ruiz 32′, Dani Carvajal 45+3′
Croatia 0

 

Spain vs Croatia stats

Spain Stat Croatia
11 Shots 16
5 Shots on target 5
1.91 Expected goals 2.58
46% Possession 54%
457 Passes 518
5 Corners 0
14 Fouls 13
1 Yellow cards 0
2 Offsides 0