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Spain recover to beat Croatia in eight-goal thriller

 

Alvaro Morata’s extra-time goal helped Spain secure an extraordinary 5-3 victory over Croatia in a pulsating Euro 2020 last-16 tie in Copenhagen.

In a game full of twists and turns, Luis Enrique’s side dominated the early stages but fell behind in bizarre circumstances when goalkeeper Unai Simon’s miscontrol caused Pedri’s 49-yard backpass to bounce into his own net (20).

Substitute Mikel Orsic reduced the deficit to one goal when his close-range effort was shown to have crossed the line following a goalmouth scramble (85), then Mario Pasalic, another substitute, headed home Orsic’s cross (90+2) to spark wild Croatia celebrations at the Parken Stadium.

years ago, looked likeliest to go on and win the tie in extra-time, with Andrej Kramaric forcing an outstanding close-range save from Simon as they piled on the pressure.

But Morata, who faced abuse from Spanish fans for his misses during the group stage and squandered another fine opportunity in the first half, fired Spain back in front against the run of play (100) with an unstoppable drive.

The former Chelsea striker then released Dani Olmo to cross for Mikel Oyarzabal to score Spain’s fifth (103), and while Croatia continued fighting in the closing stages of extra-time, Spain this time held on to continue their bid for a record fourth European Championship triumph.

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