Croatia 3-5 Spain (aet): La Roja survive scare to reach Euro 2020 quarter-finals

Croatia 3-5 Spain (aet): La Roja survive scare to reach Euro 2020 quarter-finals

Spain and Croatia served a EURO classic with the former winning 5-3 in extra time to book a place in the quarter-finals of the ongoing EURO 2020 tournament.

La Roja came from a goal down to lead 3-1 with five minutes to go, but two quick goals forced the match into extra time. 

Spain fell behind following a ridiculous Pedri own goal in the first half, but goals from Pablo Sarabia, Cezar Azpilicueta, and Ferran Torres seemed to be enough to guide them into the quarters, only for Mislav Orsic and Mario Pasalic to turn the game on its head. 

Alvaro Morata, who missed clear chances in both halves then gave his side the lead 10 minutes into extra time, before Mikel Oyarzabal added a fifth four minutes later to ensure Spain sailed through.  

The match got off to a slow start with Croatia sitting deep, allowing Luis Enrique's men to dominate possession in the opening half-hour. 

Croatia offered little going forward, with Spain creating a number of half-chances. 

They however took the lead in a rather bizarre manner in the 20th minute when Pedri knocked a gentle pass back to the goalkeeper from midfield, who inexcusably took his eye off the ball at the last moment and it clipped off his foot and into the back of his net. 

The goal gave them the courage to move forward in search of another goal creating a number of chances with Luka Modric, Ante Rebic, and Matteo Kovacic all involved. 

Spain kept mounting pressure on their opponents, and it paid off in the 38th minute when Gaya drilled a shot at goal after a scramble in the box and, although Livakovic did well to parry it away, it fell kindly for Sarabia to blast in the equalizer to ensure it was all square going into the break. 

Spain took the lead for the first time 12 minutes into the second half when Chelsea captain Cezar Azpilicueta headed home a delicious Torres ball. 

Croatia came close to pulling level in the 67th minute after picking their way into the Spanish box, allowing Vlasic to cut back for Gvardiol - but Simon brilliantly dropped down to his right to make the one-handed save. 

Torres then made it 3-1 in the 77th minute after a beautiful Pau Torres free-kick quickly found him in space on the wing, and the Man City winger cut inside before easily finding the net. 

Orsic then forced a goal in the 85th minute all thanks to Modric's skill, who carried the ball into the box with a clever pass, and the referee's goal-line technology watch confirmed the ball had crossed the line. 

Deep into injury-time former Chelsea forward, Pasalic headed home a glancing header to spark wild celebration from the fans, forcing the game into extra time.

Spain continued their domination, and two quick goals from Morata and Oryazabal ensured Spain won their first knock-out match in nine years. 

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