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regular-article-logo Thursday, 18 July 2024

Spain thrash disjointed Croatia: 3-0 up before half time, Morata and teammates make the right start

Morata broke the deadlock in the 29th minute as the Croatians lost the ball up front and Fabian split the defence with a perfect pass for the Spanish captain to surge through and slot the ball past Dominik Livakovic

Our Bureau, Reuters Berlin Published 16.06.24, 09:54 AM
Dani Carvajal (in red) scores Spain’s third goal past Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic in their 3-0 win at Olympiastadion, Berlin, on Saturday.

Dani Carvajal (in red) scores Spain’s third goal past Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic in their 3-0 win at Olympiastadion, Berlin, on Saturday. Getty Images

First-half goals from captain Alvaro Morata, Fabian Ruiz and Dani Carvajal set Spain on course for a comprehensive 3-0 win over Croatia giving the 2008 and 2012 champions the perfect start to their Euro 2024 campaign on Saturday.

Morata broke the deadlock in the 29th minute as the Croatians lost the ball up front and Fabian split the defence with a perfect pass for the Spanish captain to surge through and slot the ball past Dominik Livakovic.

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Fabian added the second himself three minutes later and defender Carvajal added a third just before the break as Lamine Yamal, the youngest player ever to appear at the Euros, picked him out to score and effectively end the game as a contest.

Croatia had a goal ruled out when Bruno Petkovic’s missed penalty was played back into his path for him to score, but the strike was chalked off due to Croatian players encroaching during his original penalty kick as they slumped to a bitter defeat.

Yamal became the first 16-year-old to play at a men’s European Championship.

The Barcelona teenager was making his eighth appearance for Spain, despite
only being 16 years and 338 days old.

Yamal became Spain’s youngest player and goalscorer on his debut against Georgia in a Euro 2024 qualifier last September.

He has already played 51 times for Barcelona, scoring seven goals, after becoming their youngest player at the age of 15 in April 2023.

Among his records, he has become the youngest La Liga goalscorer and youngest player to start a Champions League game. He broke the European Championship youngest player record by about nine months.

The previous record holder was Poland’s Kacper Kozlowski, who was 17 years and 246 days when he played against Spain at the delayed Euro 2020 tournament.

With inputs from Reuters

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