You have to stay hooked on Spain and its madness. Because watching a Luis Enrique match produces all kinds of attacks. From nerves, anxiety, frustration and excitement. The National Team qualifies for the quarterfinals (plays again on Friday) after a new win against Croatia that required extra time. The party heals wounds and leaves some open. Morata scored the goal that unbalanced the match in extra time. He was able to score more. He played with pride. It felt good to leave Spain to show off on a historic night in Copenhagen. The open wound is the failure of Unai Simón in both his own goal and the lack of office. But the goal is achieved. To the quarterfinals with a team that has gone from less to more.
The game went through all the moods and overexcitement that a fan can suffer for 90 minutes. Quiet, hopeful and comfortable start, tragedy with the own goal in the transfer of Pedri to Unai Simón, the epic with the goals of Sarabia, Azpilicueta and Ferran Torres, happiness for a reaction and what seemed like a new win. Spain was in the quarterfinals with ten minutes to go, with 1-3 and enjoying the game, but did not know how to close the match and the end was poorly managed. It was necessary to go to the extension. Incomprehensible after everything that had to happen with the singing of Unai Simón. Croatia shot in the spirit to score, in the 93rd minute, with Pasalic’s header.
Another blow for the Spanish National Team. Extra time overcomes all the excitement and anguish of regulation time. The match broke down. Where there was an insecure doorman, a savior appeared. Unai Simón avoided the Croatians’ room with a save to Kramaric. The runner broke the coaches’ tactics. The one who needed it most took advantage of it, the player who had reported threats to his family. In the 100th minute, Morata lowered a ball with his right and shot a cross from Dani Olmo with his left. Morata celebrated it with rage, shouting, with the pineapple of all his teammates and those who jumped from the bench. He hit the ball with his soul and with all the security and precision of the best scorers.
The best offensive version of the National Team was unleashed, which found and took advantage of the hole on the right wing of the Croats. Dani Olmo was a dagger. He put another good center to the space that Oyarzabal marked. The fifth goal for Spain. Total madness for a team without brakes, with more legs, fresh, ambitious and with vertigo. He overwhelmed Croatia in a superb reaction to the blows suffered.
The Spanish National Team breaks several psychological barriers in a full and dramatic match against Croatia. It is a day to be happy, but also concerned about the failure and successes of Unai Simón. Very excited by the reaction of a group of players who did not sink. Spain, a team of inexperienced players managed by Luis Enrique, has caste and football. He lacks more trade. Reacted. He did not give up. He got up with a very hard blow after the fatality in the transfer of Pedri to Unai Simón who overtook Croatia. It was the 19th minute. There was a world left, a lot of game ahead, but this own goal is not just any failure. It was a tragedy. A catastrophic action that gave an advantage to a Croatia that knows how to compete and faced the match with all defensive precautions to avoid receiving goals.
The mental strength with which he resisted the blow of the own goal is worth highlighting in Luis Enrique’s team. It was not easy to overcome the error. Not for Unai Simón, who was marked. But the Athletic goalkeeper also had his moments to make up for the failure. In the second half he avoided a two-way tie and in overtime he was decisive. Unai Simon went from hell to heaven. All of Spain suffered with the ruling. All of Spain was happy that Unai showed that, in the same game, your luck can change if you don’t give up, if you believe in yourself again.
This is what must be valued in Spain. It is a team that believed in its football, in its possibilities when it was sunk. He did not finish lowering his arms for that fateful so much in the transfer of Pedri, from the center of the field, which Unai Simón ate. The goalkeeper was confident, measured poorly, had time to think about what to do with the control, to whom to pass the ball, and did the least expected. Failure. The goal has been a continuous debate in the calls and decisions that Luis Enrique has taken until he handed over the ownership to Simón. It has been an open position, with several candidates, which generated doubts. Finally, the coach chose the Athletic goalkeeper, who was marked by mistakes and mistakes with his team in the season and in the match against Kosovo.
The Unai Simón thing was an accident. On the balance the hits weighed more. Also thanks to another great game by Sarabia, the player who has a spark, who finishes the plays and resolves within the area. Spain deserved the draw, despite the minutes of anxiety and suffering that arose after Unai Simón’s error. The spark was put by Pablo Sarabia, the player named by Luis Enrique, by surprise and who has become decisive in this European Championship. He already stood out in the defeat of Slovakia, with a goal, and a lot of depth and danger. His goal was providential, in 38 ‘, to remove his fears before the end of the first half.
Spain was always better, but sins of unexpectedness. From the initial whistle to the end. He had the gap in the failure of the action between Pedri and Simón and the end of the match that cost three of the Croats a draw. But she believed in herself. He is strong in his head and energetic. It is a group that has had a hard time before the start of the competition and during the group stage. Suffering has been an apprenticeship for Luis Enrique’s. They have shown against Croatia, at the time of greatest difficulty, getting ahead in several phases. Sarabia tied, a key goal, before the break and reacted. Extra time was reached and decided to be braver than Modric’s Croatia. The daring and physicality also rewarded Spain.
The best news is the five goals scored. The worst are the three received. The disconnection in the last section of the game that caused the extension to be played. The first goal received has to serve to mature. The play of the goal in their own goal is inappropriate for a National Team that is competing in a European Championship. In the history of Spain there are glaring failures (Arconada in the Eurocopa 1984, Zubizarreta in the 1998 World Cup and De Gea in the 2018 World Cup), to which is added Unai Simón. It is a mistake that leaves a goalkeeper marked for life. Luckily, for Unai, he retaliated with more interventions of merit and keys to sustain a team that is growing in the tournament.
The reaction in the second half has a lot of merit, like that of the extension. Spain always went for the game, on the attack, increased the speed of the game, the aggressiveness and the depth. The excesses of confidence were paid dearly and this is what must be corrected so as not to have so much suffering. It was minute 76 and the National Team was giving a recital with goals from Azpilicueta and Ferran Torres. It dominated and had Croatia disabled. But he had defensive cracks, fragility and lack of skill. He had to suffer in the last ten minutes with both Orsic, who conceded the goal technology, in a hubbub within the small area. With that of Pasalic’s draw, in 93 ‘, and when Croatia pushed us to the limit, the most overwhelming version of Spain appeared.