Spain Notches Enthralling Win Over Croatia
Spain notched a 5-3 victory over Croatia in the Euro 2020 Round of 16 – but the two-goal margin of victory is not indicative of just how close this match was, requiring extra time for Spain to collect the game-winning and insurance goals.
Spain was the heavy favorite in the match but fell behind after an embarrassing own goal. Spain quickly showed their poise and power, with Pablo Sarabia, Cesar Azpilicueta and Ferran Torres all getting into the scoring column.
The lead was short-lived, as Croatia made an incredible comeback late in the second frame of the match. A goal at the 85-minute mark by Mislav Orsic and a header from Mario Pasalic in injury time tied the game up for Croatia.
Spain prevailed in extra time, though, scoring in both the 100th and 103rd minutes en route to a 5-3 victory. With the victory, Spain reaches the quarterfinals and will face off against Switzerland, who won in a shocking victory over typical soccer powerhouse France.
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“We conceded two goals in seven minutes but we were superior to them in extra-time and we deserved to go through,” said Azpilicueta.
Spain captain Sergio Busquets noted the difficulty his squad had with Croatia’s formation early on, but how they persevered and broke their opponent’s system.
“When Croatia changed their system, they flooded the pitch high up and we didn’t adjust quickly enough,” he said. “But overall I’m so happy with the result, how we handled the extra time and the fact that we are in the quarter-finals.”
Despite an own goal, Spain walks away with their heads held high, while Croatia – despite a valiant effort – gets sent home packing.
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