Monday June 18, 2012 Group Stage: Group C Finished Arena Gdansk

Croatia 0 - 1 Spain

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  1. Spain end Croatia hopes to win group

    Spain end Croatia hopes to win group

    Spain set up a possible Euro 2012 quarter-final with England by completing a nervy 1-0 win over Croatia in Gdansk to top Group C. More

  • Live Commentary

    Time:90'
    • Croatia
    • Spain
    • 90+4' There goes the final whistle! Spain complete a 1-0 win while Italy are also through courtesy of a 2-0 win over Ireland. Spain progress as group winners.
    • 90+2' Italy finish 2-0 winners over Ireland. Rakitic has also been booked.
    • 90+1' We into four minutes of time added as Jelavic is booked for handling the ball. Croatia need a goal to join Spain in the last eight.
    • 89' Xavi off to be replaced by Negredo for Spain.
    • 88' Spain heading into the last eight as group winners. Italy now 2-0 ahead against Ireland. Croatia heading for the exit door.
    • 87' GOAL! Spain finally break the deadlock as Jesus Navas smashes the ball into the net from Iniesta's pass. Lovely ball from Fabregas. Spain finally on the board.
    • 86' Rakitic with the corner. Busquets seemed to be fouling Corluka in the area, but the referee missed it. That could have been a penalty to Croatia.
    • 85' Arbeloa back to defend the Strinic cross. Croatia have a corner. Those Spanish fans feeling the nerves.
    • 84' Nobody on the end of Xavi's corner. Pletikosa forced to make another a decent save to deny Jesus Navas. All hard going this for Spain.
    • 83' Iniesta drives an effort at goal. Nice footwork, but Pletikosa stood tall to make another good save. A corner to Spain.
    • 82' Only Aron Winter - seven times - has come on as a substitute more often than Cesc Fabregas in Euro finals history. Spain in Croatia's half.
    • 81' Change for Croatia, who are going for this. They need a goal with Italy leading Ireland 1-0. Eduardo is on for Vukojević.
    • 80' Spain cut open Croatia on the back, but Busquets can't turn towards goal as Srna comes across on the edge of his box to make a brilliant tackle.
    • 79' Solid stop from Casillas in the Spanish goal to prevent Perisic from finding the net. Fine effort from distance, but the save was good from the Real Madrid keeper.
    • 78' Their 10th of the night sees Strinic head clear from Xavi's corner. Croatia look to hit on the break.
    • 77' Fabregas can't get the free shot at goal. Lovely play by Iniesta, but Croatia do well to smother the ball. Surprise, surprise but Spain have a corner.
    • 76' Spain with almost 70 percent of possession, but they are again without a striker in this game now that Torres has departed the action.
    • 75' Iniesta on the run for Spain. Loses the ball. Has been a frustrating night for the Spanish. Little doubt about that. Nervy times.
    • 74' Arbeloa sees his cross snuffed out and Spain win their ninth corner of the match. Spain with so much possession, but no incision.
    • 73' Off goes Silva for Spain, and on comes Fabregas. All change in this match, but we remain at 0-0.
    • 72' Xavi with the delivery, but a lack of bodies trying to get on the end of that delivery. A change coming here then for Spain.
    • 71' Strinic blocks the cross from Navas, and Spain have the ball deep in the Croatian half before they earn a corner. Their latest corner.
    • 70' Spain last lost a competitive match in the 2010 World Cup group stage, losing 1-0 to Switzerland. They came back from that, but wouldn't come back from a defeat here.
    • 69' Perisic wallops a volley miles over the bar as Croatia begin to throw caution to the wind. Croatia know they need a win here. 0-0 at the moment.
    • 68' Suggestions that Pique might have taken an elbow in the face from Strinic in the Croatian box, but not spotted by the referee.
    • 67' Schildenfeld does well to block Navas's cross, but Xavi's corner eludes his team-mates. Schildenfeld then clears from Busquets's cross ball.
    • 66' Sergio Ramos rises to head over the bar from Xavi's corner. Croatia now playing with a 4-4-2 formation here.
    • 65' Perišić takes over from Pranjić for Croatia while Jelavic has replaced Vida. Croatia need a goal here.
    • 64' Strinic forced to head the ball away from Navas, and Spain have a corner that is going to be whipped in by Xavi.
    • 63' Navas with ball out wide, but he fails to get the cross in. Croatia with six men behind the ball at the back.
    • 62' Iniesta taken out of the action late by Rakitic. Free-kick for Croatia who can hammer the free-kick long. It remains 1-0 to Italy in Poznan.
    • 61' Fernando Torres will depart the action to be replaced by Jesus Navas, which could mean a more forward berth for David Silva.
    • 60' Spain living on the edge there and nearly undone. Corluka rises to head clear Xavi's corner. Spain going to make a change here.
    • 59' Brilliant stop from Casillas as he claws out the header from Rakitic. Superb cross from Modric. Rakitic then fails to convert the rebound. Spain almost undone.
    • 58' Alonso rises to head clear the delivery from Rakitic. And on we go as Torres carries the ball up the park for Spain.
    • 57' Mandžukic takes a tumble under pressure from Arbeloa. Free-kick to Croatia out wide in the Spanish half.
    • 56' Spain saw what happened to Russia on Saturday night. Don't want to risk that reverse, but this could get a lot more nervy the longer it stays at 0-0.
    • 55' A storm was expected overhead, but nothing has materialised. No action on or off the park at the moment. Italy lead Republc of Ireland 1-0 in Poznan. Italy heading through as Group C winners at the moment.
    • 54' Strinic with a late challenge on Silva. Going to be a booking here for the Croatia man. He joins Corluka in the book.
    • 53' More flares going off the in stands. At both ends. That is not going to go down too well with UEFA.
    • 52' Iniesta almost picks out Torres. Just too much pace on the pass, and Pletikosa collects the loose ball. Better from Spain.
    • 51' Alba guilty of a little push on the back of Srna. Not much change in the tempo of this match. Like a training session so far. Croatia can be content with their contribution so far in this game.
    • 50' Only Casillas (11) have touched the ball fewer times than Torres (13) for Spain in the first half versus Croatia.
    • 49' Casillas under pressure from Corluka. Bit of leaning on Pique. Not much contact with the Spain keeper, but the free-kick is awarded against Croatia.
    • 48' Strinić takes out Arbeloa with a late challenge. Pletikosa thumps the free-kick down the park.
    • 47' Strinić immediately concedes a free-kick for a late foul on Silva. Pique hammers the ball long down the park.
    • 46' So off we go in the second half of this match.
    • 45+2' Corner comes to nothing. Spain's half has come to nothing. Slight surprise they have yet to open the door. A very cagey affair. Ends 0-0 at the break.
    • 44' Silva bounds up the park as Spain earn another corner. Going to be two minutes added to this half.
    • 43' Srna picks up a booking for a late challenge on Busquets. Free-kick for Spain deep in their own half.
    • 42' Iniesta just gives the ball away for Spain. Croatia with so many men behind the ball. Croatia looking for the one goal that could change the destination of this match.
    • 41' Xavi sends the free-kick spinning in, but Ramos clatters the back of Ramos's head. Free-kick to Croatia.
    • 40' Jordi Alba knocks the ball off Corluka and the Spanish have their second corner of the match.
    • 39' Xavi tries an intricate pass through to Torres, but it flicks off the back off his heels as Croatia regain possession.
    • 38' Spain have never lost an international match in which Fernando Torres has scored (21-1-0), winning the last 21 since he scored in a 1-1 draw vs Italy in April 2004.
    • 37' Mandžukic tries to pick out Pranjic on the run, but he fails to unleash a shot at the opposing goal. Chance gone for Croatia, but a nice piece of attacking play.
    • 36' Jordi Alba showing some decent level of control in the box, but just loses the ball as he tried to bound beyond Schildenfeld.
    • 35' Italy would go through as group winners at the moment with Spain finishing runners-up. Croatia need a goal as we stand.
    • 34' News of a goal in the other match. Italy lead Ireland 1-0, and the Italians will feel a lot better about that.
    • 33' Players with one yellow card after today will see that wiped out following the quarter-finals. For this one, Luka Modrić, Niko Kranjčar and Gordon Schildenfeld are all a yellow card away from a ban for Croatia.
    • 32' Busquets gives the ball without any need. A bit of a rarity before Pique overhits a pass trying to pick out Iniesta.
    • 31' Silva trying to play in Torres. Excellent little ball, but Torres failed to read the pass. Croatia almost caught out.
    • 30' The last Croatian player to score against Spain was Davor Šuker in a 3-1 defeat in a friendly in Seville on 5 May 1999.
    • 29' Ball falls kindly for Silva in the area from Alonso's pass. Silva slips as he shoots and Pletikosa gathers up the loose ball.
    • 28' Srna throws the corner across the face of goal, but no takers on the end of the delivery. Mandžukic waiting to return to the action here.
    • 27' Corluka is booked for complaining about the referee's failure to award a foul. Mandžukic on the deck and in need of some treatment.
    • 26' Sergio Ramos takes out Mandžukic with a late challenge. Brutal late tackle, and that could have been a penalty to Croatia.
    • 25' At least there is a few chances beginning to be created in this match. Spain continue to be patient. As is the way with Spain.
    • 24' Chance for Pranjic on the charge for Croatia. Casillas dives to make the stop low to his right. Mandžukic misses the target seconds later.
    • 23' Pique has a go from 25 yards. Ball goes up before dipping narrowly over the bar. Was a fine effort.
    • 22' Sergio Ramos opts to go for goal from distance. Easy enough take for Pletikosa in the Croatia goal.
    • 21' Torres smashes the ball at Pletikosa. Decent stop at the near post, but was always difficult to score from that angle. Nice turn of pace displayed by Torres.
    • 20' Not quite two teams heading for a draw here, but neither side are overly exerting themselves in the search for a goal. Italy and Ireland remain at 0-0.
    • 19' Vukojevic takes down Silva with a late challenge, and there is a free-kick chance for Spain. But a spot of pushing in the area from Xavi's free-kick. Croatia awarded the free-kick.
    • 18' Been going for 18 minutes and neither side have managed a shot at goal. For all their possession, Spain have yet to trouble the Croatia goal.
    • 17' Plenty of noise in the stadium. Croatia fans trying to will their side on to greater things, but a few of the Polish fans are drinking in this atmosphere.
    • 16' Rakitić concedes a free-kick for a late foul on Jordi Alba. Was a bit out with that challenge there.
    • 15' Jordi Alba launches a long ball down the park looking for Torres, who just fails to keep the clearance in play.
    • 14' Casillas & Torres play their 11th European Championship match, more than any other Spanish player. Before today, they shared the record with Rafael Gordillo.
    • 13' Spain pass, pass and pass some more. Difficult for Croatia to win the ball. Hardly a huge surprise. Spain with almost 80 per cent of possession.
    • 12' Mario Mandzukic has had only four shots at Euro 2012 but has scored with three of them. How Croatia would dearly love a goal here.
    • 11' Spain on the ball at the back. In no rush to go anywhere at the moment. Play a bit scrappy at the moment, but Spain continue to pass with some relish.
    • 10' In their last game against Ireland, Spain set a new record for most passes in a match at the Euros: 860 - the previous most was 778.
    • 9' As we stand Spain and Croatia are in the driving seat to reach the last eight. As we stand of course. Plenty of scope for change. Strinić brings down Arbeloa.
    • 8' Torres trying to dart beyond Vida, but good defending by the Croatian player, who races back to make sure the Chelsea man can't escapte his attentions.
    • 7' Still 0-0 in the other match in Poznan which is a positive for Ireland. They were one goal down against Croatia and Spain by this stage.
    • 6' A flare arrives from the back of the crowd and is on the pitch. Presumably from the Croatian fans. Schildenfeld brought down by Torres out wide.
    • 5' Spain have already fired in more shots on target at Euro 2012 than any other team in the tournament. That is on top of seeing more ball in this tournament than any other side.
    • 4' Great cross into the middle by Alba, but Schildenfeld is there to nod behind before Torres heads well over from Xavi's corner.
    • 3' Sran goes down under pressure from Iniesta. Croatia content to play with the one striker up front. Mandžukic the man charged with getting the goals.
    • 2' Busquets takes a tumble under pressure from Mandžukic. Free-kick for Spain which is headed out of his own box by Corluka from Xavi's delivery.
    • 1' We are off and running in Gdansk. Spain in their light blue changed shirts. They get the action started.
    • 19.40 Remember you can follow the other match tonight between Republic of Ireland and Italy with us. Italy need a win and hope this one works out for them. Follow Italy against Republic of Ireland....
    • 19.35 Odd for this one: Croatia 9/1, Spain 1/2, Draw 13/5..Spain favourites, but a lot can happen on the night. Teams in the tunnel, and we are almost ready to go.
    • 19.25 Croatia are unbeaten in their last six fixtures at the European Championship Finals (four wins), and have scored in each of the last eight. Spain are unbeaten in each of their last eight games at Euro Finals.
    • 19.20 Vicente del Bosque (Spain): "We are a very strong team but football can always spring surprises. You saw that in the semi-finals of the Champions League this season while at these finals I thought Poland and Russia would go through but that didn't come to pass. Anything can happen, we must be aware of that and of the fact that being overconfident in this sport can make things very tricky. If we are not alert we will be punished, I have no doubt about that."
    • 19.15 Slaven Bilic (Croatia): "A [high-scoring] draw doesn't enter into our minds, that would be stupid. My players know what they must do and their levels of determination are sufficiently high. This is the most important game of their generation.  It won't be easy as they have been the best team in the world over the past four or five years but we will look to hold possession for as long as possible while running as much as we can. We play our best when we play against the top teams."
    • 19.10 SPAIN and CROATIA both have four points, and know they will be through if they win tonight. The losers of that match would be out if ITALY beat Ireland. If Italy do not win, they are out. If SPAIN draw with CROATIA and ITALY win, all three teams would have five points, with the group decided by a mini-league between them. As all the matches will be draws, it comes down to goals scored. A high-scoring draw (2-2 or more) between CROATIA and SPAIN will see both through even if Italy thump Ireland.
    • 19.05 Spain remain unchanged from the 4-0 win over Ireland. Although Spain's progress into the quarter-finals is by no means confirmed, coach Vicente del Bosque's thoughts may turn to his three players - Alvaro Arbeloa, Xabi Alonso and Fernando Torres - who are already on yellow cards and will be suspended for their next game if they pick up another booking against Croatia. Despite scoring in both of Spain's matches thus far, Cesc Fabregas remains on the bench.
    • 19.00 Croatia make two changes for this match. Defender Domagoj Vida replaces Ivan Perišić and midfielder Danijel Pranjić starts in place of Nikica Jelavić, who missed training on Saturday due to a virus. It remains to be seen if coach Slaven Bilic sticks with his favoured midfield diamond or goes with the 4-2-3-1 that he switched to during the match against Italy four days ago, from which they scored to earn a 1-1 draw.
    • 18.55 The referee is Wolfgang Stark of Germany.
    • 18.50 Croatia: 1-Stipe Pletikosa; 21-Domagoj Vida, 5-Vedran Corluka, 13-Gordon Schildenfeld, 2-Ivan Strinic; 7-Ivan Rakitic, 8-Ognjen Vukojevic; 11-Darijo Srna, 10-Luka Modric, 6-Danijel Pranjic; 17-Mario Mandzukic////Spain: 1-Iker Casillas; 17-Alvaro Arbeloa, 15-Sergio Ramos, 3-Gerard Pique, 18-Jordi Alba; 8-Xavi, 16-Sergio Busquets, 14-Xabi Alonso; 21-David Silva, 9-Fernando Torres, 6-Andres Iniesta
    • 18.45 Good evening and welcome to LIVE coverage of Spain against Croatia from Group C. Both teams looking to secure their respective places in the last eight. A 7.45pm kick-off for this match in Gdansk. A defeat for either side will be enough if Italy fail to beat Republic of Ireland in the other Group C match.
  • Summary

    • 87' GOAL! Spain finally break the deadlock as Jesus Navas smashes the ball into the net from Iniesta's pass. Lovely ball from Fabregas. Spain finally on the board.
    • 86' Rakitic with the corner. Busquets seemed to be fouling Corluka in the area, but the referee missed it. That could have been a penalty to Croatia.
    • 84' Nobody on the end of Xavi's corner. Pletikosa forced to make another a decent save to deny Jesus Navas. All hard going this for Spain.
    • 83' Iniesta drives an effort at goal. Nice footwork, but Pletikosa stood tall to make another good save. A corner to Spain.
    • 80' Spain cut open Croatia on the back, but Busquets can't turn towards goal as Srna comes across on the edge of his box to make a brilliant tackle.
    • 79' Solid stop from Casillas in the Spanish goal to prevent Perisic from finding the net. Fine effort from distance, but the save was good from the Real Madrid keeper.
    • 59' Brilliant stop from Casillas as he claws out the header from Rakitic. Superb cross from Modric. Rakitic then fails to convert the rebound. Spain almost undone.
    • 26' Sergio Ramos takes out Mandžukic with a late challenge. Brutal late tackle, and that could have been a penalty to Croatia.
    • 24' Chance for Pranjic on the charge for Croatia. Casillas dives to make the stop low to his right. Mandžukic misses the target seconds later.
    • 23' Pique has a go from 25 yards. Ball goes up before dipping narrowly over the bar. Was a fine effort.
    • 21' Torres smashes the ball at Pletikosa. Decent stop at the near post, but was always difficult to score from that angle. Nice turn of pace displayed by Torres.
    • 18.50 Croatia: 1-Stipe Pletikosa; 21-Domagoj Vida, 5-Vedran Corluka, 13-Gordon Schildenfeld, 2-Ivan Strinic; 7-Ivan Rakitic, 8-Ognjen Vukojevic; 11-Darijo Srna, 10-Luka Modric, 6-Danijel Pranjic; 17-Mario Mandzukic////Spain: 1-Iker Casillas; 17-Alvaro Arbeloa, 15-Sergio Ramos, 3-Gerard Pique, 18-Jordi Alba; 8-Xavi, 16-Sergio Busquets, 14-Xabi Alonso; 21-David Silva, 9-Fernando Torres, 6-Andres Iniesta
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Team Line-up & Ratings

  • Croatia

    Manager: Slaven Bilic

  • Spain

    Manager: Vicente del Bosque

  • Line-up

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