Spain thrash Slovakia to reach round of 16
Sevilla: Spain reached the pre-quarterfinals of the Euro 2020 after beating Slovakia by five goals to none.
The 2010 champions advanced to the quarter-finals as runners-up from Group E. This is the first time Spain have scored five goals in a euro cup match.
Aymeric Laporte, Pablo Sarabia and Ferran Torres scored for Spain, while Martin Dubrovka and Juraj Cucca’s own goals contributed to their emphatic win.
Spain started the match with added urgency and mentality by displaying attacking football throughout the match as they were convinced they could only advance to the pre-quarters if they win today’s match.
🇸🇰🆚🇪🇸 = 🔥— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 23, 2021
⏰3⃣0⃣⚽️ Dúbravka og
⏰6⃣7⃣⚽️ Ferran Torres
⏰7⃣1⃣⚽️ Kucka og#EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/mHx4OvN9MY
Spain ended the group stage with five points from three matches. Despite the defeat, Slovakia’s pre-quarter chances are not completely over.
Spain had made four changes from the team that played in the last match with Captain Sergio Busquets returned to the team after testing negative for the Covid-19.
Alvaro Morata had a great chance for the hosts in the fourth minute. However, the player’s shot was caught by Slovakia goalkeeper Dubrovka. In the 10th minute, the referee awarded a penalty in favor of Spain. However, Alvaro Morata’s kick was saved by Slovakia’s goalkeeper Dubrovka with a superb dive.
🇪🇸 Positioning and football intelligence masterclass … Sergio Busquets 👏@Heineken | #EUROSOTM | #EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/71azqFunkx— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 23, 2021
Spain’s Sarabia missed two golden chances in the 18th minute. Defects in the passing game and the absence of a clinical striker hit Spain hard. Slovakia, on the other hand, focused only on defense.
In the 24th minute, goalkeeper Dubrovka kicked Morata’s powerful post. Spain finally took the lead in the 30th minute. The goal was scored by Slovakia goalkeeper Dubrovka.
The long range shot taken by Sarabia bounced off the crossbar of Slovakia. Dubravka saw the ball fall down the post and tried to push the ball out. But the player hit his own net. This turned out to be an own-goal. Dubrovka, who until then had performed world-class, became Slovakia’s villain in a single moment.
Boosted with confidence, Spain tried to increase the lead. The forwards and midfielders fought well to intensify their attacks. It was rewarded when they scored the second goal in the injury time of the first half.
Defender Laporte scored with a header this time. Gerard Moreno’s pass was deflected into the net. Dubravaka, who was out of place, could only stare at it. Slovakia were unable to create even a good chance in the first half.
In the second half, Slovakia tried to play offensively as Spain focused more on defense. But Spain found their third goal of the match amidst Slovakia’s raids.
Sarabia scored the third goal for Spain in the 56th minute. Jordi Alba got the ball right into Sarabia’s feet between the defenders in the box. Sarabia took the ball and sent it into the net with a great finish.
Despite scoring three goals, Spain’s attack did not diminish. Spain scored their fourth goal in the 66th minute. Moran was replaced by forward Ferran Torres, who scored for the team. Torres came on as a substitute and scored on the first touch. The player scored the goal with a smashing kick from Sarabia’s best pass. He also became the second fastest substitute in Euro history to score a goal.
Shortly afterwards, Spain scored their fifth goal of the match through an own goal from Slovakia’s Juraj Kuka. In the 71st minute, during a scuffle inside the Slovak box, the ball hit Kukka’s leg and went into the net. With this, Spain secured the victory.