No more room for error for two sick nations in this Euro 2020. Croatia and Spain met this Monday in the round of 16 at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen with the objective of confirming their last victory in the group, respectively against to Scotland and Slovakia, and so to rally the quarters. For this part, Zlatko Dalić, deprived of Lovren in defense (suspended) and of Perisic in front (Covid-19), aligned a 4-3-3 with Caleta-Car in hinge, Modric in the midfield, or even Rebic and Vlašić on the wings at the outposts. On the Spanish side, Luis Enrique did not derogate from his 4-3-3 and renewed his Garcia-Laporte hinge while Gaya took the place of Alba in the left lane and Azpilicueta was again starting at kick-off, all like Sarabia.
And it is precisely the offensive element of PSG that lit the first real breach in the start of the match totally controlled by La Roja. On an intelligent delivery from Morata, Sarabia landed a strike ending its race in the small outside net of goals from Livakovic (13th). In the process, the Vatreni goalkeeper won his head-to-head against Koke, who, perfectly served by Pedri in the meantime, did not put his foot flat. Croatia struggled to keep the ball and only suffered against the Spaniards perfectly returned to their match. And yet, the improbable was happening. Just after a huge opportunity wasted by Morata from the head (19th), Pedri, at the level of the central circle, sent a well-supported pass back towards his last rampart. Unai Simon, incomprehensibly, completely missed his control and let the ball slip into the back of his net (1-0, 20th).
This opening scoring against the course of the game completely reversed the trend, and also had the merit of waking up the Croatian supporters in the spans of the Parken Stadium. Spain seemed stunned and unable to react, where Croatia obtained two chances in quick succession by Vlašić from a narrow angle (25th) and Rebić from afar (27th), the two not finding the frame. But after a few minutes of hesitation, La Roja found color and resumed the siege of the opposing surface. It is therefore quite logical that Sarabia shot Livakoic to equalize, thus concluding a game of billiards in the last 16 Croatian meters (1-1, 38th). When they returned from the locker room, the Iberians set their foot on the ball, determined to take the advantage in this part.
Croatia sinks then rebels … before sinking in overtime
Faced with the Vetreni fallen back into their tracks, Azpilicueta propelled an offering from Torres at point blank range into the goals of a helpless Livakovic to put La Roja on the right track (1-2, 57th). After several minutes without reaction, Zlatko Dalić’s men showed a slightly more conquering face, operating against. But Gvardiol, found by Vlašić, came up against a vigilant Unai Simon in search of redemption (68th). Finally, after a goal from Morata logically refused for offside (72nd), Spain killed the suspense in this round of 16. Entered into play a few minutes earlier, Pau Torres delivered a bright opening in the direction of Ferran Torres, who adjusted the Croatian goalkeeper with a wound on the ground slipped between his legs (1-3, 77th).
As we headed towards a calm qualification for the Spaniards, Oršić took advantage of a scramble in the area of La Roja to push the ball into the net, an achievement validated thanks to Goal Line Technology, and thus offer a last hope to the Croatian people at the end of the game (2-3, 85th). A scenario conducive to a crazy end to the match, which allied to the 6 minutes of additional timeix minutes of additional time announced by the fourth referee, the Vatreni pushed and scrambled to snatch overtime. They achieved their goals thanks to Pašalić who, served by Oršić (again him), deceived Simon with a ferocious header (3-3, 90th + 2).
From the start of extra time, the substitute with inflamed legs, Oršić rolled up but his attempt went over the Spanish goals (92nd). Completely transcended, the Croats boarded and were close to returning to Spain on the scoreboard but Unai Simon intervened masterfully in front of Kramaric (96th). But Luis Enrique’s players responded instantly via Olmo, which forced Vida to save his family (97th), and were determined to have the last word in this crazy meeting. Morata, on a cross from Olmo, took advantage of Brekalo’s naivety to crucify Livakovic (3-4, 100th) before Oyarzabal, still found by Olmo, made the break (3-5, 104th). In the second act of this extra-time, Budimir could not find the frame and missed the opportunity to relaunch his own (106th). A failure synonymous with the last cartridge for Croatia, which was even saved by his post on this soft shot from Oyarzabal (120th). The Vatreni therefore take the door in this Euro 2020 after an incredible comeback against La Roja, victorious of this spectacular poster (5-3). Spain, interesting offensively but worrying defensively, will face the winner of the match between France and Switzerland on Monday evening (to be followed live with commentary on FM).
Find the full table of the final phase of Euro 2020
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