Spain crush Croatia 3-0: Yamal makes history

An electric atmsophere in Berlin's Olympiastadion Credit: EWN

Spain launched their Euro 2024 campaign in style with a convincing 3-0 victory over Croatia at Berlin’s Olympiastadion on Saturday.

Around 100,000 Croatia fans were in Berlin for the game, taking over huge areas of the city in their distinctive chequered shirts.

The fans were in a party mood before the game started, particularly when their team’s icon Luka Modric emerged to warm up, but the atmosphere transformed as the game got under way.

A thrilling first half for Spain

A first-half blitz featuring goals from Alvaro Morata, Fabian Ruiz, and Dani Carvajal ignited Spanish fans, while Croatia offered little resistance throughout the match.

The match marked a historic moment for Spanish football as 16-year-old Barcelona winger Lamine Yamal became the youngest player ever to feature in a men’s European Championship, impressing with a skillful assist.

Croatia’s best chance of the first half fell to Josko Gvardiol, but his effort flew just wide. Spain continued to dominate when Yamal’s cross found Carvajal at the back post for a simple finish.

Croatia’s misery was compounded in the second half when Bruno Petkovic’s late penalty was saved by Unai Simon, with the rebound disallowed. The 2022 World Cup semi-finalists were a shadow of their usual selves and face an uphill battle to reach the knockout stages.

Spain coach Luis de la Fuente remained cautious despite the impressive win. “I am very pleased. Of course, it gives us a big boost and calmness as well,” de la Fuente said. “But in five days we have such an important game, against Italy.

Defeat for Croatia

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic took full responsibility for the defeat, apologising to the travelling fans and acknowledging his team’s lack of aggression. “It was a great atmosphere. I don’t know how many Croatia supporters were here, but I apologise to them for this bad show,” he said. “We were too far from their players, especially in the first half, giving space and time on both sides to Nico Williams, Lamine Yamal and Alvaro Morata.  When you give such good players so much space, it is difficult.”

Spain now turn their attention to a match against Italy on Thursday as fans continue to celebrate across the country.

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Written by

Trelawney Bresic

Trelawney is a journalist and screenwriter. She began her career at the Euro Weekly News twenty years ago and is passionate about honest and compelling journalism. If you have a news story, don't hestitate to get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com

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