The striker scored his fifth goal in extra time for the national team in a Euro, equaling Fernando Torres.

lvaro Morata celebrates his goal against Croatia in extra time.Stuart FranklinAP

The normal thing is that the ball, delivered by Pedri a Unai Simn from the center of the field, as so many times, it would have been controlled by the Spanish goalkeeper. The normal thing, too, is that, in that minute 21, which is already part of the most absurd moments in the history of the national team, those of Luis Enrique they would have been ahead on the scoreboard. A few minutes before, to BoilIt was precisely after a superb assist from Pedri, the youngest player (18 years and 215 days) to play a tie in the entire history of the Euro, that his vision in front of Dominik Livakovic. The normal thing, moreover, is that by winning 1-3 to 10 minutes from the end, Spain would have hunted its prey. There will be those who think that, the normal thing, too, would have been that lvaro Morata, fought with the goal, would have sent to the clouds the formidable shot with which he liquidated Croatia. Then it would appear Mikel Oyarzabal, yes. But it was clear that in the Eurocup, as in any other big event, what happens does not have to be normal. It happens and period.

And it is that, when the ball spit out of Pedri’s right boot, in the first half, the large group of fans with the shirts of the Spanish team, incredulous, threw their hands to their heads, accompanying the ball of the ball. Simn did not control the ball and Spain’s colors went up. Inevitable the memory of that Luis Miguel Arconada of Euro’84, the Andoni Zubizarreta of the ’98 World Cup or the Jos Francisco Molina of Euro 2000. When the break came, with the score again even, it was David De Gea, who also felt cursed in the last World Cup in Russia, who approached Simon and accompanied him with a relaxed talk on the way to the locker room. A crazy mistake that is already part of the history of the competition. Fortunately, the error ended up being an anecdotal scratch for Spain.

Unai Simn laments after his mistake.
Unai Simn laments after his mistake.STUART FRANKLINPool via REUTERS

After the blunder, Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium roared. And he did it as if he was actually the Maksimir from Zagreb himself. The duel in the stands seemed to have a clear winner long before the game, although his behavior, throwing glasses and bottles at some point in the second act, left much to be desired. Throughout the day, on the kilometer-long Stroget Street, the longest pedestrian route in Europe, it is already warned that the Croatian fans will win, and by a landslide. Thousands of plaid shirts, thousands of beers evaporating. There were even those who, despite the high temperatures in Copenhagen, dared to wear the classic water polo cap, a sport that is also deeply rooted in the Balkan country. They had taken the streets of the Danish capital and, naturally, camped in the Danish compound as if it were the stands of their city. It will be his only victory.

Busquets’ career

Simon, untouchable in the four games of this European Championship, clenched his fists when Pablo Sarabia I detract some significance from his grave mistake. Laporte and Eric García hugged him to give him one more push. Fortunately, before the break, Sarabia had managed to balance the matter and, incidentally, agree with Luis Enrique, who bet with him against Slovakia and since that afternoon at La Cartuja he has added two goals and two assists. This is surely the most important goal of his career. Even so, when Aymeric LaporteAs the second act dawned, he decided to give him a ball, just as Pedri had done before, the Croatian bottom shouted trying to sow doubts in the goalkeeper. This time, Simn, who conquered Luis Enrique for his game with his feet, did not have major difficulties to scare away the danger. A few more balls would pass through his boots.

Unai just saw the light when Csar Azpilicueta, after a measured center from Ferrar Torres, heads the victory for Spain. To the speakerLogically, it was difficult for him to pronounce the surname of the Navarrese defender, who would not have found a better time to debut as a scorer for La Roja, eight years after his debut. Sergio Busquets Halfway through the field was crossed to give another healing hug to the Spanish goalkeeper, who raised his spirits. So much so that Josko Gvardiol, in one of the incursions of Croatia, he ran into his gloves when the checkered shirts already believed to see a tie.

An unexpected extension

The connection between the two would still come Torres, from Pau a Ferran, from end to end of the field, to complete the Spanish win. There was plenty of his teammates on the center, who had barely six minutes on the green. However, when Simon thought he could breathe a sigh of relief, he came across the two Croatian stabs. The last, of Mario Pasalic, to force the extension and leave Spain with a face of not knowing how it had encountered such a mess.

S could do it after a superb overtime in which Morata, who equals Torres as the top scorer in a final phase of the European Championship with Spain (five), suddenly removed all the thorns. The blow was celebrated with a dangerous chest pass in front of the ardent Croatian background. The whole team will go to hug him when the referee finally signaled the end and they are at the Parken Stadium the Long live Spain from Manolo Escobar placeholder image. Simon, just in case, had his gloves ready at all times. It was the history of the catharsis of the national team, which returns, at last, to the quarterfinals of a great event. Since winning Euro 2012, he hadn’t made it past the quarterfinals. Luis Enrique’s boys already have nice to hold onto. The Copenhagen afternoon in which they passed over Croatia. Next Friday, in Saint Petersburg, against France or Switzerland, they will have a new opportunity.

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