Spain and Croatia were involved in a humdinger of a game which ended in 5-3 win for La Roja. Croatia took the early lead due to a horrendous own goal by Spain. Following that, Spain took control of the game and went on to lead the Croats 3-1. Croatia fought back brilliantly and scored a couple of goals to take it to extra time. Spain showed their class after 90 minutes and won the game 5-3 which books a place for them in the quarter finals.
Spain’s head coach Luis Enrique hailed his side’s team spirit and the players’ character which was on show during the match against Croatia as they recovered from a nightmare start and went on to show great grit in extra time after suffering heartbreak due to the late goals scored by Croatia.
“It was a very intense game today that really had everything. Everyone saw our true team spirit today,” Enrique told a news conference.
“When the word ego disappears and the word team appears, of course it’s fantastic to be part of a group like that,” he added.
Spain had taken a 3-1 lead after an incredible error from keeper Unai Simon saw the side fall behind.
“They didn’t really create any chance, yet we conceded a goal. So, when that happened, it felt very unfair and of course it can lead to a bit of shock for a few minutes,” Enrique said.
“I am pleased we got a second chance. That doesn’t usually happen,” the coach added. “It went crazy really after the 80th minute, when we could have scored a fourth goal and put it to bed. Those final 10 minutes are something we have to learn from.
“We don’t have that much international experience within the squad, and perhaps those kinds of mistakes are inevitable,” he continued.
Spain will face Switzerland in the quarter finals on Friday after the Swiss beat France on penalties which was another nail-biting game involving a 90th minute goal.