Copenhagen: Spain won an epic battle, as they score twice in the extra-time to pull off a 5-3 win over Croatia and place in the quarter-final os the Euro 2020, at the Parken Stadium, here on Monday.
Tonight's winners were strolling to victory after they went 3-1 up after 77 minutes, Unai Simón's early misfortune that gave the lead to a dangerous Croatia side apart. The Vatreni showed as much quality as they did spirit in the shortage of time they had to salvage their hopes, punishing generous defending to pounce twice and force extra time. In the end, though, La Roja deserve immense credit for restoring that two-goal cushion. They will face France or Switzerland next.
This match was like a rollercoaster. Unfortunately, it was a last ride for Croatia at Euro 2020. They made a seismic comeback after being two goals down, but they couldn't cause a sensation in Copenhagen. They depart to ample applause from their fans.
Sarabia (38'), Azpilicueta (57') Ferran Torres (77') Morata (100') and Oyarzabal (103') scored for the winners while, Pedri (20' og), Oršić (85') and Pašalić (90'+2) found the back of the net for Croatia.
Orsic swings in a glorious cross from a position almost level with the penalty area by the byline on the left flank, catching out Spain's centre-backs with a gift of an in-swinging delivery for Pasalic, who responds with an emphatic header that gives Unai Simon no chance.
Croatia and Spain were tied 3-3 in the last 16 of the Euro 2020, and were into extra time at the time of going to the press.
An action-packed half ends with relief for Spain, Sarabia capitalising on a prolonged spell of pressure to draw his side level following that highly unfortunate own-goal that gave Croatia an early lead. La Roja have largely dominated since the opener, although their opponents could have doubled their lead, Vlasic and Kovacic going close courtesy of the direct, powerful attacks that have been the hallmark of Croatia's attacking play.
Sarabia fires in rebound to equalise after Croatia take lead against run of play when Unai Simón misjudges Pedri back pass, and saw the ball roll over the goal line.
When Spain were playing their best minutes, it was an unfortunate action that gave a goal to Croatia. That has changed the game completely. Spain look a bit nervy, missing passes. Croatia are much more confident, trying to play on the counterattack. Let's hope Spain can recover possession, and get their confidence back to how it was at the beginning of the game. There's a long way to go, let's keep hoping for Spain.
In the end that was a standard catch for Unai Simón in front of Rebić but the Spain bench erupted in loud applause and shouts of support for the Basque keeper, who's still got to have that calamitous error on his mind.
De Gea does however. Formerly the first choice, but unseated by Unai, the injured Manchester United man was first to go and counsel his team-mate as they walked off at half-time there. Proper team spirit and, potentially, all the support Unai, a strong minded youngster, will need.
Spain, fortunately, recovered from conceding, and there was an improvement in their play, especially with Sarabia, and he got the goal. Psychologically, that was very important as they scored quite quickly after conceding and before the half-time interval.