Spain triumphed after an incredible Euro 2020 last 16 contest against Croatia, winning 5-3 after extra time in Copenhagen.
The memorable match had numerous twists and turns, with Croatia taking the lead before Spain seemingly booking their spot in the quarter-finals as they led 3-1 with five minutes of normal time to play.
The Croatians dramatically took the game to extra time with two late goals but they couldn’t capitalise on that momentum as Spain struck twice more to secure a quarter-final against France or Switzerland.
The goals from Pablo Sarabia, Cesar Azpilicueta, Ferran Torres, Alvaro Morata and Mikel Oyarzabal mean that Spain have become the first team in European Championship history to score five in consecutive matches after their 5-1 win over Slovakia last time out.
It looked like it could be a calamitous outing for Luis Enrique’s side when they conceded a comical own goal in the first half thanks to goalkeeper Unai Simon.
The own goal went down as Pedri’s, but he could hardly be blamed for his back pass evaded the ‘keeper and rolling into the Spanish net.
Spain had been the better team before that disaster 20 minutes in, with Koke and Alvaro Morata missing good chances, and they continued to be for much of the rest of the match as they fought back in style.
Pablo Sarabia levelled the game up on 38 minutes after something of a goalmouth scramble including a fine save from Dominik Livakovic, but the Dinamo Zagreb stopper couldn’t keep out Sarabia’s effort.
The sides went into the break at 1-1 with Simon at least not having to dwell on his error for too long and his side were impressive in the second stanza.
Spain took the lead for the first time on 57 minutes and it was the unlikely source of Cesat Azpilicueta, who found himself in the centre-forward position and made up for the misfiring Morata.
Manchester City’s Ferran Torres delivered a fantastic cross to the back post where the Chelsea defender had snuck in to head home.
There was some heroic Spanish defending after Luka Modric cut the ball back from the byline, but substitute Mislav Orsic got another shot off and goal line technology confirmed it was indeed a goal, despite Simon’s efforts.
It still only looked like a scrap of hope for Croatia, but they were not ready to lie down just yet and Mario Pasalic headed in the equaliser two minutes into injury time, nodding home a fantastic in-swinging cross from the left wing.
That took the game into extra time and the momentum was with Croatia after their dramatic comeback late in the second half, but it was Spain who remained composed.
Unai Simon was completely making up for his earlier error with a couple of impressive saves, while Morata also redressed the balance for his earlier miss with a fine strike to put his side back in front.
Dani Olmo whipped in a cross from the right which Morata took down and then fired home at the back post with a lethal strike 100 minutes into the match.
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