SportsSpain Need Extra Time To Win Epic R16 Euro Tie Against Croatia...

Spain Need Extra Time To Win Epic R16 Euro Tie Against Croatia 5-3


June 28, (THEWILL) – Monday’s Euro 2020 Round of 16 (R16) fixture was an emotionally charged and a vigorously energetic affair at the end of which Spain overcame Croatia to go through to the quarter-finals after requiring extra time to win by a 5-3 margin.

The epic match was not short of the spectacular in the final extra time but it did not look like it was going to need extra time to be resolved with the way Spain began. Although La Furia Roja missed two early opportunities to go ahead, they still looked the likelier of the two to open the scoring.

But, one of the most unbelievable own-goals of all time changed the tenor of the match. Goalkeeper Unai Simon, under no sort of pressure, miscontrolled a long back pass by Pedri from midfield and watched on in horror as the ball trickled into the net to give Croatia a shock lead with the opener.


Spain turned on the pressure burners and equalised through Pablo Sarabia in the 38th minute. The Paris Saint-Germain left winger powered a high shot into the net to take the teams level into the half time interval.

Spain played a better controlled match for the most part of the second period. Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta and Manchester City’s Ferran Torres added to the scores to take La Furia Roja to a two-goal advantage at 3-1. It was going to be an easy closing of the round of 16 tie.

But, five minutes of regulation time left and Mislav Orsic scrambled in Croatia’s second to make for some tense final minutes. Then, Croatia’s comeback was complete with a sensational late header from Mario Palasic in the second minute of injury time.

Extra time was required to resolve the pulsating encounter which looked like a foregone conclusion before Croatia’s quickfire double. The Croatians could have done their chances of advancing to the quarter-finals a world of good if Andrej Kramaric did not miss a gift of a chance to give them an extra time lead.

That miss was punished when Spanish substitute and assist-champion Dani Olmo set up two goals in the space of three minutes, first for the previously disappointing Alvaro Morata and then Mikel Oyarzabal in the first period of extra time to get Spain coasting.

By this time, Croatia had practically run out of steam and in the final 15 minutes, the second half of extra time, Spain only had to cling to their lead to see out a European Championship classic and knock out the dogged Croatians.

The victory gives Spain a quarter-final berth against either France or Switzerland on Friday at the St Petersburg stadium.


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