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        Morata, Ruiz, and Carvajal on target...

        Spain impress in win over Croatia

        2024/06/15 19:16
        E5

        Spain kicked off their EURO 2024 tournament with a comfortable victory against Croatia in the first game of Group B.


        LINEUPS

        ESP XI: Simón; Carvajal, Le Normand, Nacho, Cucurella; Rodri, Ruiz, Pedri; Yamal, Williams, Morata

        ESP SUBS: Raya, Remiro, Navas, Vivian, Laporte, Grimaldo, Merino, Olmo, Baena, Zubimendi, Fermín, Oyarzabal, Joselu, Pérez
         
        CRO XI: Livaković; Stanišić, Pongračić,  Šutalo, Gvardiol; Brozović, Kovačić, Modrić; Majer, Budimir, Kramarić

        CRO SUBS: Labrović, Ivušić, Erlić, Sosa, Vida, Juranović, Vlašić, Mario Pašalić, Ivanušec, Sučić, Baturina, Perišić, Petković, Pjaca, Marco Pašalić


        Action: Group B was dubbed as the 'group of death' and it began with one of the favourites, Spain, taking on a team that always seems to over-perform at tournaments, Croatia.

        Luis De La Fuente's team dominated for the majority of the first half and opened the scoring in the 29th minute before then doubling just a few minutes later.

        The first goal came when the Croatia full-backs were caught out high up the pitch allowing Fabián Ruiz to slip a ball through to captain Álvaro Morata who kept his cool to put the ball past Dominik Livaković.

        Ruiz went from creator to scorer not long after that. This goal involved 16-year-old Lamine Yamal causing problems before Pedri eventually rolled the ball to Ruiz who showed great feet to drive into the Croatia box and finish.

        @Getty /
        Croatia had chances themselves in the first half, notably immediately after both of Spain's two goals. The best opportunity came shortly before half-time when Lovro Majer got the ball to Josko Gvardiol whose shot was almost finished off by Ante Budimir but the Osasuna man didn't manage to make any contact with the ball.

        Zlatko Dalić's team were made to pay for that missed opportunity when Dani Carvajal got to the end of Yamal's cross to make it 3-0 in first-half stoppage time.

        That goal made the second half a far easier prospect for Spain who were able to let Croatia play in front of them while looking for counters for the rest of the game much like when Yamal had a superb chance to score Spain's fourth in the 52nd minute only for Livaković to produce a solid stop to keep the youngster's shot out.

        Croatia were always second-best in the game but they will be scratching their heads wondering how they didn't score at least one goal in Berlin.

        Not long after Yamal's chance, Spain had to put in some last-ditch defending to stop Croatia from pulling one back with Marc Cucurella making a vital block to deny Josip Stanišić.

        The biggest opportunity of all came from the penalty spot though. Unai Simón gave the ball away to Majer who squared it to Bruno Petković. The Dinamo Zagreb forward took the ball round Simón but was clipped by Rodri who received a yellow card for his foul.

        Simón redeemed himself with a strong penalty save to keep Petković out. Ivan Perišić was the first onto the rebound and squared it again for Petković who this time rolled the ball into the net.

        Croatia thought they pulled one back but VAR intervened and instead awarded a free-kick to Spain after Perišić was found to have encroached.

        It truly wasn't the Croatians' day but most importantly, Spain's exciting mix of youth and experience made a hugely positive start to the tournament.


        Man of the match: Fabián Ruiz. Played the pass for Morata's opener and took his own goal superbly while helping his side dominate in midfield.

        Big picture: This was an impressive start from Spain who looked electric going forward and were able to coast for much of the second half with their youngsters shining. For Croatia, this is a difficult start to what is a very hard group but there were signs they will be able to pick up wins in their final games with better finishing.

        Expected goals: Spain (2.00) 3-0 (2.67) Croatia


        EVENTS

        Kick-off

        ’29 | GOAL: Morata (1-0)
        ’32 | GOAL: Ruiz (2-0)

        ’45+2 | GOAL: Carvajal (3-0)

        Half-time

        ’80 | PENALTY SAVE: Simón
        ’80 | DISALLOWED GOAL: Petković

        Full-time



        Poll

        POLL RESULTS

        SPAIN
        DRAW
        CROATIA

        Comments

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        motivo:
        2024-06-15 20h48m by banderson1976
        And boy, did Spain live up to the expectations! A comfortable 3-0 victory for the Spanish team, with Morata finally scoring and Pedri once again showing why he is considered one of the most exciting young players in the world. As a Spanish fan, I couldn't be happier with this result. Vamos España!
        A_
        2024-06-15 20h28m by a_12_shawcross
        As a fan of one of the teams playing, I have to say I am content with Spain's performance in this match. They showed a lot of control and confidence on the ball, and the comfortable victory is a great start to their EURO 2024 campaign.
        JR
        2024-06-15 20h21m by jreedmanbrst
        And the Spanish team did not disappoint, easily defeating their opponents 3-0.

        As a fan of the Spanish team, I couldn't be more delighted with this result! Our players showed great skill and determination on the field, and it's clear that we are strong contenders for the EURO 2024 title. Bring on the rest of the group stage!
        2024-06-15 19h57m by l_10_brownfield
        As a fan of one of the teams in Group B, I am ecstatic about this result! Spain showed great enthusiasm and determination in their victory against Croatia. This is just the start and I can't wait to see what the rest of the tournament holds for them.
        2024-06-15 19h34m by edavidson
        The match started off slow, with both teams feeling each other out and trying to gain control of the game. However, as the first half progressed, Spain began to dominate possession and create chances, while Croatia struggled to get out of their own half. The breakthrough finally came in the 29th minute, when Dani Olmo scored a stunning goal from outside the box, giving Spain a 1-0 lead. Croatia tried to respond but were unable to find an equalizer before halftime.

        Twitter comment
        classic matches
        U Saturday, 15 June 2024 - 17:00
        Olympiastadion Berlin
        Michael Oliver
        3-0
        Álvaro Morata 29'
        Fabián Ruiz 32'
        Dani Carvajal 45'
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