The Spanish players celebrating their victory over Croatia
The Spanish players celebrating their victory over Croatia

Euro 2024: Spain start with a bang as Croatia is outclassed 

Spain kicked off their Euro 2024 campaign with an emphatic 3-0 win over Croatia in Group B as Lamine Yamal became the youngest player to feature in the history of the competition.


After a tepid opening 25 minutes, La Roja broke the deadlock when Alvaro Morata raced clear before producing a composed finish.

La Roja's goals came from Alvaro Morata, Fabian Ruiz and Dani Carvajal - all in the first half as they turned in an impressive opening period. 

Four minutes later, they doubled their lead when Fabian Ruiz bamboozled the opposition with some sharp footwork before lashing the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

That sparked Croatia into action and Josko Gvardiol came close to scoring. Croatia had a late goal ruled out but struggled to create many presentable openings despite their stellar cast of midfield schemers.

But on the stroke of half time they fell behind further when Yamal, aged 16 years and 338 days old, produced a brilliant cross which was converted by Dani Carvajal for his first international goal.

Zlatko Dalic's side were unlucky not to reduce their deficit in the second period with Josip Stanisic's shot was cleared off the line by Marc Cucurella and the rebound was saved by Unai Simon.

Croatia then thought they had scored late on after they were awarded a penalty when Rodri brought down Bruno Petkovic after a mistake by Simon.

Petkovic's spot-kick was saved but he converted the rebound, however VAR disallowed the goal for encroachment in the box by Ivan Perisic.

Talking Point

In a difficult group with the reigning champions Italy, Spain got off to an ideal start against tricky opposition. 

Three first half goals, three different goalscorers, a job well done from Luis de la Fuente's side. But they were not tested defensively by Croatia and it will be interesting to see how the 2008 and 2012 Euro winners fare against better teams.

Player of The Match

Lamine Yamal (Spain): After a nervy start, the Barcelona man's pace and trickery was too much for the Croatian defence to handle. 
The 16-year-old was involved in Ruiz's goal and also assisted Carvajal's goal with a brilliant swinging cross.

Player Ratings

CROATIA: Livakovic 6, Stanisic 6, Sutalo 5, Pongracic 5, Gvardiol 6; Modric 6, Brozovic 5, Kovacic 6; Majer 6, Budamir 6, Kramaric 5. Subs: Perisic 5, Pasalic 5, Sucic 5, Petkovic n/a.

SPAIN: Simon 8, Carvajal 7, Le Normand 7, Nacho 7, Cucurella 7, Pedri 6, Rodri 6, Fabian 7, Yamal 8, Morata 7, Williams 6. Subs: Olmo 4, Oyarazabal 5, Merino 5, Zubimendi n/a, Torres n/a.

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