News Archive

European Championship finals – group stage

Spain 1 - Croatia 2

A disaster for Spain in their final group game, a 1-2 defeat against Croatia meaning they miss out on top spot, and have to face Italy in the first knock-out round next Monday! Del Bosque’s decision to put out the same starting line-up for the third match in a row appeared to have paid off when Silva and Fàbregas set up Morata for the opener with only seven minutes gone. However soon afterwards a mistake by De Gea gifted the ball to Rakitic, whose lob came off the bar and the post before bouncing clear. The Manchester United keeper also had to save from Kalinic, and Perisic headed over the top before crossing in for Kalinic to get in front of Sergio Ramos to level the scores on the stroke of half time. A draw would still have been enough to keep Spain in first place, and they had a chance to restore the lead when Silva was pushed over by Vrsaljko in the area midway through the second half. Subasic saved the subsequent penalty kick from Ramos though, and with three minutes to go Perisic cut in from the left wing to fire in a shot which took a slight deflection off Piqué before squeezing inside De Gea’s near post. That took Croatia above “La Roja” in the table, and with Germany, France and England also on Spain’s side of the draw, the odds on a third successive title are now looking a lot lower than they were just 24 hours ago. (21.06.16)