Spain crush Slovakia to set up Euros last-16 date with Croatia

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Spain claimed the biggest win of the tournament with a 5-0 thrashing of Slovakia in their final European Championship Group E match on Wednesday to finish second in the group and set up a last-16 clash with Croatia in Copenhagen.

Goals from Aymeric Laporte, Pablo Sarabia, Ferran Torres and two own goals from Martin Dubravka and Juraj Kucka sealed Spain’s progress to the knockout stages.

Slovakia were eliminated as four other third-placed teams had either more points or a better goal difference.

Dubravka saved an early penalty from Alvaro Morata but gifted Spain the opener when he attempted to punch a rebound off Sarabia’s shot over the bar, only to palm it into his own net.

Aymeric Laporte doubled the lead before halftime. Sarabia was then rewarded with a goal when left back Jordi Alba swung a cross into the box and the Paris Saint-Germain winger found space to take a first-time shot that went in off the post.

Sarabia turned provider when he set up substitute Ferran Torres who scored within a minute of coming on, flicking a low cross past Dubravka for the fifth. Spain forced another own goal minutes later when Kucka failed to clear off the line.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Reuters

Photo Players of Spain celebrate their fifth goal during the UEFA EURO 2020 group E preliminary round soccer match between Slovakia and Spain in Seville, Spain, 23 June 2021. EPA-EFE/Thanassis Stavrakis / POOL