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Euro 2024: Morata’s Spain crush Croatia – Seven eye-catching moments fans may have missed or want to relive

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It is matchday two of Euro 2024 and Spain signalled their intent to the rest of the field with a resounding 3-0 masterclass victory over Croatia, Soccernet.football reports.

Croatia, who traditionally punch above their weight in major tournaments, looked helpless against the Spanish high press and were simply unable to control significant passages of play.

They will feel slightly undone by the penalty incident, and will have some work to do ahead of their next matches against Albania and Italy.

Spain, on the other hand, will enjoy the advantage a first group match win gives you in such a competitive tournament.

Here are seven eye-catching moments from the match that fans may have missed or will want to relive.

1. The Iconic Olympiastadion

Berlin’s Olympiastadion, with a capacity of 71,000, provided a historic backdrop for this Euro 2024 clash.

The oldest continuous venue used in the tournament, it has hosted significant events since its inauguration for the 1936 Olympics, a period marked by the rise of Adolf Hitler.

More recently, it was a venue for the 2006 FIFA World Cup and is the home base for Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin. The stadium’s storied past lent an added gravitas to Spain’s dominant performance.

  1. Ivana Knoll in the Stands

Ivana Knoll, dubbed the ‘world’s sexiest football fan’, watched the game from the stands.

The Croatian model, who gained fame at the Qatar World Cup, has been a social media sensation. Recently seen DJing at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, Knoll attended the match in Berlin following a recent split from her boyfriend.

Her presence, known for her eye-catching outfits, was another highlight amidst Spain’s commanding victory.

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  1. Morata’s Opener

The deadlock was broken in the 29th minute by Alvaro Morata.

A perfectly threaded ball from the centre found Morata, who, despite pressure from two Croatian defenders, managed to slot it past Livakovic.

This goal came after a tightly contested opening, signalling the beginning of Spain’s offensive onslaught and giving the fans a taste of what was to come.

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  1. Ruiz’s Brilliant Strike

Just three minutes later, in the 32nd minute, Fabian Ruiz doubled Spain’s lead with a moment of individual brilliance.

Navigating through a cluster of Croatian defenders, Ruiz found a sliver of space and fired a shot into the bottom right corner from the top of the box.

The Spanish supporters, buoyed by Morata’s goal, were now in full voice, creating an electric atmosphere.

  1. Carvajal’s Halftime Strike

Dani Carvajal’s goal on the stroke of halftime effectively sealed the match. A corner from the right found Lamine Yamal, who delivered a pinpoint cross to Carvajal inside the box.

The Spanish defender made no mistake from close range, securing a 3-0 lead. The assist from Yamal, at just 16 years old, made him the youngest player to ever play and assist in the Euros, adding a historic layer to an already impressive performance.

  1. History in the Making

Spain’s 3-0 lead at halftime placed them in exclusive company.

In the history of the Men’s European Championship, only four teams have led by three or more goals at halftime: France (1984 and 2016), Germany (2024), and now Spain.

This tournament has seen an explosion of goals, with every game so far featuring three or more, setting an exhilarating pace for the competition.

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  1. Croatia’s Dramatic Penalty Miss

Croatia’s fortunes took a further dip with a dramatic penalty incident. After Simon’s error left Petkovic with an open goal, Rodri’s foul led to a penalty.

Petkovic’s initial strike was saved by Simon, and although he scored on the rebound, VAR disallowed the goal due to Perisic encroaching into the box prematurely.

The decision not to allow a retake left Croatian fans in disbelief and epitomized their frustrating evening.

Spain’s dominant display and Croatia’s misfortunes were encapsulated in these moments, setting the stage for what promises to be an exciting tournament. As Spain moves forward with confidence, Croatia will need to regroup quickly for their upcoming matches.

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