Croatia 2-1 Spain: Spain suffer defeat in battle for top spot

Croatia 2-1 Spain
Darijo Srna of Croatia BORDEAUX, FRANCE - JUNE 21: during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group D match between Croatia and Spain at Stade Matmut Atlantique on June 21, 2016 in Bordeaux, France. (Photo by Manuel Blondeau/Icon Sport)

By Andy Jones

  • Win for Croatia sees them top Group D
  • De Gea starts in goal for Spanish

A late winner for Croatia see them finish top of Group D and condemns Spain to a second place finish and a last sixteen tie with Italy.  

This was Spain’s first European finals defeat since 2004, in a game they should really have won. After Morata scored in the 7th minute, it looked to be plain sailing for the holders.

The Spanish stuck to their passing game, completing a staggering 603 passes in the game to Croatia’s 245, but it is goals that win games not possession,  as Leicester City proved in the Premier League this season.

Croatia were without their talisman Modric, but it was Perisic of Inter Milan who provided the inspiration and showed why he is wanted by Juventus.

Sergio Ramos  missed a second half penalty, despite the goalkeeper being yards of his line when he eventually saved.

In the 87th minute, man of the match Perisic broke on the left hand side of the box and fired a near poSt shot past De Gea, who went to save with his feet, when perhaps diving down to his right would have been the better option.

A shock for Spain who now face a crucial game against Italy in the next round, while Croatia despite being group winners face an equally tough test against Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal.

De Gea finally beaten

Manchester United and Spain’s number one goalkeeper was finally in the game after not conceding a goal in his first five competitive Internationals.

in their first two group games of Euro 2016, Spain dominated the game and De Gea has had barely a save to make but this game was different.

Spain still dominated possession but Croatia had the attacking players to hurt Spain where Czech Republic and Turkey couldn’t.

Because of this the Spain defence looked edgy and De Gea finally conceded in a competitive International.

 

 

 

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