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July 18, 2024
European Championship Football

Spain Kick Off Euro 2024 With Dominant 3-0 Win Over Croatia

  • June 15, 2024
  • 3 min read
Spain Kick Off Euro 2024 With Dominant 3-0 Win Over Croatia

Spain launched their Euro 2024 campaign in impressive fashion, securing a convincing 3-0 victory against Croatia in their third fixture of the tournament.

La Roja displayed their dominance early on and maintained control throughout the match, leaving Croatia with little chance for a comeback.

The breakthrough arrived in the 29th minute for Spain. Álvaro Morata, with his third goal against Croatia in consecutive European Championships, found the net. Fabian Ruiz crafted the goal with a sublime, defense-splitting pass, allowing Morata to coolly slot the ball past Croatia’s goalkeeper, Dominik Livakovic.

Croatia attempted an immediate response, with Mateo Kovacic nearly equalizing. However, Spain’s goalkeeper, Unai Simon, who was in exceptional form, produced a brilliant save to deny the effort.

Spain doubled their lead shortly after, courtesy of another moment of brilliance from Fabian Ruiz. He weaved past three Croatian defenders inside the box before calmly slotting the ball into the bottom right corner, showcasing his exceptional footwork and composure.

Just before halftime, Spain dealt a further blow to Croatia’s hopes. A short corner routine led to a perfectly placed cross from 16-year-old debutant, Lamine Yamal. His dipping delivery found Dani Carvajal, who slid in to net his first international goal for Spain at the age of 32. This moment became a unique handshake between a young talent and a seasoned veteran.

The halftime whistle blew with Spain leading comfortably 3-0. Croatia faced a daunting mountain to climb if they dared to dream of a comeback. Despite their efforts, they found themselves stifled by Spain’s resilient defense and quick transitions in attack.

With 15 minutes remaining, Spain had effectively subdued Croatia and their fans. The silence of Croatian chants in the stadium reflected their unwillingness to press high and their overall submission to Spain’s possession-based dominance.

Croatia’s last flicker of hope came in the 79th minute. A penalty, initially saved by Simon, was squared back into play by Ivan Perišić and finished by Bruno Petković. However, the goal was disallowed due to Perišić encroaching the penalty area before the shot was taken.

The match ended with both teams having opportunities, but the scoreline remained unchanged. Spain’s stellar first-half performance and unwavering defense in the second half secured a comprehensive victory.

This win marks a significant milestone for Spain, a three-time European Champion (1964, 2008, 2012). Their dominant display against a formidable Croatian side, who had only lost three times in their last 27 games before this encounter, highlights Spain’s strong intentions and capabilities in Euro 2024.

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Nkanyiso Mchunu

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