World Champions France thrash out of EURO2020, Croatia crash out too



Spain are through to the UEFA EURO 2020 quarter-finals after a madcap extra-time win against Croatia.

Croatia took the lead against the run of play and in unusual fashion when keeper Unai Simón misjudged Pedri's long-distance back pass. Luis Enrique's side were level before half-time, though, Pablo Sarabia firing in the rebound after Dominik Livaković had parried José Gayà's effort.

When César Azpilicueta headed in his first international goal and Ferran Torres finished low past Livaković to double Spain's lead with just 13 minutes left, the game looked to be up. But that was barely the start to this round of 16 epic.

Substitute Mislav Oršić scrambled one back for Croatia but it was not until added time that the turnaround was complete. Another replacement, Mario Pašalić met Oršić's pinpoint cross from the left with an emphatic header. Cue mayhem.

It would have been 4-3 Croatia just six minutes into extra time had Unai Simón not somehow kept out Andrej Kramarić's effort – a moment of redemption that proved a turning point.

Álvaro Morata was next to turn his fortunes round when, with 100 minutes on the clock, he controlled Dani Olmo's cross and rifled into the net. From another Olmo centre, his fellow substitute Mikel Oyarzabal restored the two-goal Spanish cushion which had felt a lifetime ago.

Next fixture-

Spain vs Switzerland in St. Petersburg, Friday 2 July


Yann Sommer saved the final spot kick from Kylian Mbappé as Les Bleus were eliminated on penalties.

Switzerland beat France on penalties to progress to a quarter-final against Spain on an evening packed with drama in Bucharest.

Didier Deschamps set up with a three-man defence but his side struggled to adapt to the unfamiliar formation and found themselves behind when Haris Seferović's towering header beat Hugo Lloris. The lively Kylian Mbappé and Adrien Rabiot fizzed efforts wide but the Nati were good value for their half-time lead.

Kingsley Coman's introduction at the break instigated a change of shape for Les Bleus but it was the shift in their fortunes that proved more telling. Lloris altered the momentum, brilliantly saving Ricardo Rodríguez's penalty after Benjamin Pavard's foul on Steven Zuber, and France took full advantage.

Mbappé slipped in Karim Benzema to clip in the equaliser and the Real Madrid forward nodded in two minutes later after Yann Sommer had parried Antoine Griezmann's shot. Two became three courtesy of a stunning curling strike by Paul Pogba.

Switzerland pulled one back late through another Seferović header and, just when it seemed France had done enough to edge this last-16 thriller, Mario Gavranović rifled a dramatic equaliser from outside the box to force extra time.

Mbappé spurned the best chance of the additional 30 minutes and then, after nine successful spot kicks in the shoot-out, it was the Paris striker who was denied by Sommer to seal an unforgettable night for Vladimir Petković's Nati.

Next fixture-

Switzerland vs Spain, Saint Petersburg, Friday 2 July

Sandipan Roy

Sandipan Roy

Total 46 Posts. View Posts

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