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A Look Back at the Three Spain vs. Croatia Euro Meetings

A Look Back at the Three Spain vs. Croatia Euro Meetings

Spain against Croatia has been a fixture at the last three UEFA EURO tournaments. Given that the two teams will meet again to open Group B in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium on June 15, it is appropriate to look back on the three previous Spain vs. Croatia EURO meetings here.

Spain vs. Croatia EURO Meetings

EURO 2012: 1-0 Spain win

In the first of the three Spain vs. Croatia EURO meetings, the Spaniards came into the game as defending European champions and reigning World Cup winners. They were a passing machine, while their opponents were a promising but continuously underachieving side. It was the last round of games in the group stage.

The favourites dominated that match, though they only managed a minimal one-goal victory through an 88th-minute strike by Jesus Navas.

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This ensured that Spain would top the group and that Croatia would go home after the game. (That was the last 16-team EURO tournament, where all 3rd-placed sides were eliminated.

Spain ended up winning that EURO and defending their title after having beaten Italy in the final, the same Italians whothey were in the group with. It might have served as a bit of a consolation to the Vatreni that the two teams that knocked them out, both reached the showpiece match at the end of the tournament.

EURO 2016: Croatia win 2-1

In the second of the Spain vs. Croatia EURO meetings, it was again the last group stage match. This time, Spain was through having won the first two matches in the group and the now expanded 24-team competition, Croatia practically were through as well, having won one match and drawn the other.

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Alvaro Morata scored to give Spain the early lead, Nikola Kalinic equalised before the break – while Sergio Ramos missed a penalty in the 72nd minute before Perisic won it for the Vatreni in the 87th. This meant that Croatia topped the group and Spain finished second, but both sides lost in the round of 16.

EURO 2020: Spain win 5-3 in extra time

The most recent of the Spain vs. Croatia EURO meetings was a knockout match for the ages. The Croats took the lead through a comical error by Spanish goalkeeper Unai Simon. La Furia Roja recovered from that shock by taking a 3-1 lead. Croatia then brought virtually every attacking player off the bench and equalised in added time to make it 3-3. The problem was that these offensive players could not defend in extra time, and the Spaniards scored twice more, this time without reply.


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