Spain outclass Croatia in eight-goal thriller to reach quarter finals

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Cesar Azpilicuetta heads Spain into the lead
Cesar Azpilicuetta heads Spain into the lead

Spain reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 in dramatic fashion by beating Croatia in extra time after an eight-goal thriller.

Croatia substitutes Mislav Orsic and Mario Pasalic forced extra time with two goals in five minutes but Spain regrouped to seal their passage from a knockout tie for the ages.

Striker Alvaro Morata, who has revealed his family had been threatened, silenced his critics when he thumped in Spain’s fourth goal in extra time in Copenhagen.

Mikel Oyarzabal then added a fifth goal three minutes later to finally see off Croatia, who fought back from 3-1 down in normal time when they looked out.

When Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon failed to control Pedri’s 49-yard back pass, it was a sign of things to come in this highly entertaining last-16 tie.

That gave Croatia the lead initially but the bizarre own goal sparked a response from Spain – Pablo Sarabia thumping in an equaliser, Cesar Azpilicueta heading in another and Ferran Torres making it 3-1.

Spain looked comfortable before Croatia burst into action late on to force added time.

The drama continued as Simon made up for his earlier error with a heroic stop from close range to deny Andrej Kramaric before Morata went up the other end to score for Spain.