Spain 3-0 Croatia – Euro 2024: Live score and updates as Fabian Ruiz doubles lead with superb individual effort after Alvaro Morata’s opener

‘A confident finish’

Matt Barlow, Mail Sport, in Berlin:

Two goals in three minutes and 50,000 Croatia fans are briefly subdued. Morata sometimes ridiculed for his erratic finishing but that was a confident and clinical finish to give Spain the lead. His 36th goal for his country.

Only David Villa, Raul and Fernando Torres have more. Second is a wonderful example of close control and poise by Fabian Ruiz, collecting a pass and jinking past two tackles to finish low with left foot.

Ruiz doubles the lead!

Yamal is causing more issues on the right and the ball finds its way to Ruiz in the middle of the pitch, edge of the box.

He cuts inside Modric, then another defender too, anmd fires home. A fantastic goal and this game has come alive.

Spain dominant.

GOAL! Spain 2-0 Croatia (Ruiz 32)

Like London buses!

Spain are now running riot! They are well worth the lead and a little corner of this huge ground in Berlin is loving it.

Spain 1-0 Croatia

Croatia look to come right back and Kovacic is allowed to run, and run, and run.

He gets a shot away but a deflection off Nacho takes the pace off it and Simon gathers. Their best chance, and what a response that would have been.

Morata fires Spain ahead!

Ian Wright said Morata could win the Golden Boot this tournament. There’s one.

Rodri picks the ball up in his own half and gets his head up. The gap between the centre halves is huge and the ex-Chelsea man runs straight through the middle of them.

Not the quickest, he runs through on goal and looks like he may get caught, but slots home nicely with his left foot as the ground falls to almost silence.

epa11412902 Alvaro Morata (R) of Spain scores the opening goal in the UEFA EURO 2024 group B match between Spain and Croatia in Berlin, Germany, 15 June 2024. EPA/FILIP SINGER

epa11412909 Alvaro Morata (L) of Spain celebrates after scoring the opening goal in the UEFA EURO 2024 group B match between Spain and Croatia in Berlin, Germany, 15 June 2024. EPA/FILIP SINGER

GOAL! Spain 1-0 Croatia (Morata)

A colleague has just said to me that this feels like the Spain of old and she’s right. A lot has been made about their will to go direct at times, but we’ve not reallt seen that yet.

NOW THEY BREAK! GOAL!

Croatia fans running the show

I did tell you…

Spain 0-0 Croatia

This one hasn’t quite lived up to the other two games so far but it’s warming up.

Croatia have settled now, working their way around Spain’s press more.

A ball goes in to Budimir, and it looks like the forward will get there, but Simon gathers first.

A cross then finds the Osasuna man, but it’s headed over.

Spain 0-0 Croatia

Now Yamal gets a chance but it’s well defended and perhaps a bit of inexperience causes the ball to run away from him. Decent chance but he can’t get the shot away.

Cucurella gives a foul away at the other end and it’s whipped in but headed away easily. First man, which will anger some, including Lee Dixon, apparently.

Spain 0-0 Croatia

Croatia can’t get near it, but Spain aren’t creating anything.

Las Rajas win it high up the field again but Croatia recover and win a free kick, with Pedri fouling.

Now Croatia come forward as Kramaric drops deep.

Modric gets on it too and Gvardiol picks it up on the left, but Carvajal plays it off him for a goal kick. Real Madrid 1-0 Man City.

epa11412825 Luka Modric of Croatia gestures during the UEFA EURO 2024 group B match between Spain and Croatia in Berlin, Germany, 15 June 2024. EPA/FILIP SINGER

Croatia's Luka Modric goes for the ball during a Group B match between Spain and Croatia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Spain 0-0 Croatia

It’s very conjested in the middle.

Morata is fouled by Sutalo but it’s about 40 yards out and central – one of those awkward ones.

Williams dinks it, but, as predicted, it’s tough and rolls through to the goalkeeper.

Spain 0-0 Croatia

I’m not sure if it’s personal or that Spain look threatening every time he gets on the ball but Yamal is definitely being jeered the most.

Williams now down the left but Sutalo ushers it out.

Croatia then give the ball away tyring to play out, leading to Morata shooting from the edge of the box, but it’s a tame effort. Spain still dominating though.

Soccer Football - Euro 2024 - Group B - Spain v Croatia - Berlin Olympiastadion, Berlin, Germany - June 15, 2024 Croatia's Josko Gvardiol in action with Spain's Lamine Yamal REUTERS/Annegret Hilse

Spain 0-0 Croatia

A first bit of possession now for Croatia then. They can play too.

The ball out to Yamal on the right now though. Mental that he’s 16.

Ruiz tries to slide a ball through to the forwards but Gvardiol covers and his goalkeeper gathers.

Spain 0-0 Croatia

Spain start well as Cucurella leads the shift from left to right. Boos inside the ground as Spain control possession early.

Croatia are defending well in a 4-5-1, Brozovic the deepest so far. Lovakovic comes out to claim a ball aimed at Morata.

23:01,1′

KICK OFF – Spain 0-0 Croatia

Croatia get us started.

Their fans are dominating the Spanish at the moment, as we predicted.

Here come the teams!

The players are on their ways out in Berlin. Brit Michael Oliver is the referee for this one.

What an atmosphere. UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin is in the house too.

Time for the anthems… good tunes. And we are ready.

Soccer Football - Euro 2024 - Group B - Spain v Croatia - Berlin Olympiastadion, Berlin, Germany - June 15, 2024 Croatia players line up during the national anthems before the match REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin takes his seat for the UEFA Euro 2024 Group B football match between Spain and Croatia at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on June 15, 2024. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP) (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)

The time for talking is done

Right then, the warm-ups, along with the time for talk, are done.

Germany have put their markers down. It’s time to see what Spain have got.

We’ll have the teams and anthems soon.

BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 15: Marcelo Brozovic warms up prior to the UEFA EURO 2024 group stage match between Spain and Croatia at Olympiastadion on June 15, 2024 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Maja Hitij - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 15: Joselu from Spain greet Luka Modric from Croatia during the UEFA EURO 2024 group stage match between Spain and Croatia at Olympiastadion on June 15, 2024 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Inaki Esnaola/Getty Images)

BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 15: Lamine Yamal of Spain warms up prior to the UEFA EURO 2024 group stage match between Spain and Croatia at Olympiastadion on June 15, 2024 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Alex Pantling - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

‘I wrote Modric off’

Roy Keane, ITV:

Not bad. He turns up week in, week out. His technical ability, playing at the highest level. When he left Spurs I wrote him off, not good enough for Real Madrid. He’s gone up.

I will be quite the midfield battle today. Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic versus Pedri, Rodri and Ruiz.

Puff emoji.

epa11412577 Luka Modric of Croatia warms up before the UEFA EURO 2024 group B match between Spain and Croatia in Berlin, Germany, 15 June 2024. EPA/FILIP SINGER

Croatia fans in Berlin

Here’s a video of the Croatia fans arriving at the ground this afternoon from Matt.

Most of them have made their ways into the ground now. We have 18-ish minutes until kick off.

This could be a semi-final game, couldn’t it? I can’t wait.

Croatian fans arrive in Berlin ahead of Euro’s match against Spain

Yamal’s record

And on that Yamal record…

The Barcelona star becomes the youngest-ever player to appear in a game at the Euros this evening.

He’s not there to make up the numbers, either. The kid is good.

16 years and 338 days. Makes me feel insanely old/

Modric to win his 176th cap

Matt Barlow, Mail Sport, in Berlin:

Cucurella not Grimaldo at left back is the surprise in Spain’s selection. Nacho is in central defence instead of Laporte, who was not expected to play, as explained by De la Fuente ahead of the game. Laporte has been on a lighter load in training as a precaution but should be ready for the second game, against Italy.

Croatia line up as predicted with no Perisic but bags of experience.

Modric will win his 176th cap in the stadium where he first sampled major tournament football. Croatia lost 1-0 against Brazil in the opening group game of the 2006 World Cup. Modric was an unused sub that day and boss Zlatko Dalic was among the fans in the crowd.

Spain winger Lamine Yamal was not even born. Yamal starts for Spain and becomes the youngest ever to player to feature in a European Championship finals.

BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 15: Luka Modric of Croatia waves as he warms up prior to the UEFA EURO 2024 group stage match between Spain and Croatia at Olympiastadion on June 15, 2024 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

‘World’s sexiest football fan’ arrives

If Croatia are playing, Ivana Knoll is there.

The model, dubbed ‘the world’s sexiest football fan’, is in Berlin for the game today and has already been posing inside the ground.

She is probably her country’s most famous fan, to be fair. Her side are up against it tonight, but it’s not impossible.

Supporters bringing the party

I think it’s about time we shared some more fan pictures from Berlin.

It looks like the majority of supporters have made their ways to the outside of the ground, but the partying hasn’t stopped an I would assume it will continue inside soon.

There was a headwear competition going on in our live blog yesterday. We may need to start one again…

epa11412376 Fans of Spain cheer outside of the stadium ahead of the UEFA EURO 2024 group B match between Spain and Croatia in Berlin, Germany, 15 June 2024. EPA/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

Croatia fans take their seats on the stands for a Group B match between Spain and Croatia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

epa11412372 Fans of Spain cheer outside of the stadium ahead of the UEFA EURO 2024 group B match between Spain and Croatia in Berlin, Germany, 15 June 2024. EPA/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 15: Fans of Croatia, wearing Croatia branded Water Polo caps, pose for a photo on the outside of the stadium prior to the UEFA EURO 2024 group stage match between Spain and Croatia at Olympiastadion on June 15, 2024 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

‘Morata could win the Golden Boot’

Ian Wright, ITV:

The new manmager has changed it up and brought youngsters through. They are not just passing it around, they have direct youngsters and can take you apart either way.

We’ve seen Morata at Chelsea and he missed a lot of chances. But in a competition with the players he has around him, if he stays in the box, he will get the chances and it’s down to him if he takes them. They create so many chances now, he could end up the top scorer.

BADAJOZ, SPAIN - JUNE 05: Alvaro Morata of Spain celebrates after scoring the teams second goal wich was later disalowed by offside during an International Friendly Match between Spain and Andorra at Nuevo Vivero on June 05, 2024 in Badajoz, Spain. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

A guide to Croatia

Croatia are a team that are always there abouts, but they are yet to turn their impressive performances into silverware.

Despite never being among the favourites when it comes to a major competition, they have often shown they have talent to go far and cause some major upsets against some of the larger nations.

This tournament is no different as they are third favourites to escape out of the so-called group of death which includes Italy and Albania as well as Spain, so this game is important.

They are a team who have finished in the top three of the last two World Cups, however, and narrowly missed out on Nations League glory last year, falling to defeat to their opponents today in the final.

They are a team who should not be taken lightly in Germany this summer.

Manager: Zlatko Dalic

Star man: Luka Modric

Best finish at Euros: Quarter-finals 1996 and 2008

A guide to Spain

Now that’s all calmed down…

Spain head into Euro 2024 with a lot of expectation but also a lot of promise. Thanks to their emphasis on integrating their young talent and rising stars alongside experienced figures like Dani Carvajal and Rodri, they look like a side who can go far in the competition.

De la Fuenta’s men have had a very mixed bag of results heading into Germany, drawing with Brazil 3-3 in March and losing to Colombia during the same international break.

Las Rojas have seemed to turn their form around however, slotting home five goals in their latest two friendlies. But it is worth stating that those games were played against Andorra and Northern Ireland…

Manager: Luis De la Fuente

Star man: Lamine Yamal

Best finish at Euros: Winners 1964, 2008 and 2012

epa11398532 Spain's players celebrate after scoring the 1-1 tier during the friendly international soccer match between Spain and Northern Ireland, in Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain, 08 June 2024. EPA/Cati Cladera

The players arrive

The players are starting to arrive in Berlin, looking aroun the Olympiastadion with just under an hour to go until kick off.

The ground holds early 75,000 spectators and it will be absolutely crammed by the 5pm comes around. There has been pure passion on show all day and I expect the fans to take that into the ground too. Tournaments likes this mean a lot to supporters, as we’ve seen already.

Yes, that is Bastian Schweinsteiger. For some reason.

Spain players gather at the pitch prior to a Group B match between Spain and Croatia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 15: Aymeric Laporte of Spain looks on during a pitch inspection prior to the UEFA EURO 2024 group stage match between Spain and Croatia at Olympiastadion on June 15, 2024 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Alex Pantling - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Soccer Football - Euro 2024 - Group B - Spain v Croatia - Berlin Olympiastadion, Berlin, Germany - June 15, 2024 Croatia assistant coach Mario Mandzukic and former player Bastian Schweinsteiger before the match REUTERS/Annegret Hilse

Man City representation in the Croatia side

It seems Josko Gvardiol will continute the role he has been playing for Manchester City for Croatia, lining up at left back.

Club team-mate Mateo Kovacic starts too, as well as Modric, Brozovic and Kramaric.

Perisic has to settle for a spot on the bench.

LISBON, PORTUGAL - JUNE 8: Josko Gvardiol of Croatia (R) controls the ball during the International Friendly match between Portugal and Croatia at Estadio Nacional do Jamor on June 8, 2024 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Pedro Loureiro/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

Cucurella starts for Spain

I think it’s pretty much as expected for Spain, bar the potential surprise of Cucurella starting at left back.

Nacho is also preferred to Laporte at centre back, with Simon getting the nod in goal instead of Raya.

The expected front three of Yamal, Morata and Williams all start.

Spain's forward #17 Nico Williams (3rdL), Spain's defender #24 Marc Cucurella (4thL) and teammates take part in a training session of Spain's national football team, ahead of the UEFA Euro 2024 European football Championships, in Donaueschingen on June 12, 2024. (Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP) (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)

BREAKING: Croatia team to face Spain

Livakovic, Stanisic, Sutalo, Pongracic, Gvardiol, Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic, Majer, Kramaric, Budimir.

BREAKING: Spain team to face Croatia

Simon, Carvajal, Le Normand, Nacho, Cucurella, Rodri, Pedri, Ruiz, Yamal, Morara, Williams.

Spain’s ‘responsibility’ to excite fans

Matt Barlow, Mail Sport, in Berlin:

Luis de la Fuente was asked on the eve of the game about his team being outnumbered in the stands and the feeling that Spain with its strong regional identities sometimes finds it difficult to unite behind its national team.

‘We do find it hard to get that national feeling going,’ he said. ‘That’s our responsibility and we need to transmit that to fans. Winning games is best way. We must try to give all fans that opportunity. We want as many behind us as possible.

‘We experienced similar in Rotterdam in the Nations League [when Spain beat Croatia on penalties last year] and dealt with it successfully.’

BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 14: Head Coach Luis de la Fuente of Spain gestures during press conference at Olympiastadion on June 14, 2024 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Luciano Lima - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

The youngsters leading Spain’s charge

A little bit more on the youngsters who will lead Spain’s charge during the tournament.

Yamal is the posterboy, but the likes of Nico Williams and Pedri will also be key to the 2012 winners’ success.

Luis De la Fuente’s are bubbling and ready to go.

The youth prospects leading the charge with Luis de la Fuente’s Spain
Mail Sport takes a look at the babyfaced assasins De la Fuente is backing to see Spain lift a record fourth European trophy – and assesses just how bright the national team’s future could be.
Mail Online

Modric proving popular

Matt Barlow, Mail Sport, in Berlin:

It feels as if the Euros have come to life in Berlin today. The German capital woke up bleary after celebrating the romp against Scotland and before the clean-up operation could be completed an estimated 50,000 Croatia fans have descended.

Waves of red-and-white checks everywhere you look. Shirts, flags, foam hats, water-polo helmets, all the usual paraphernalia. There must be about 10,000 Modric shirts on parade.

BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 15: Fans can be seen wearing replica shirts which read "Rodrigo,16" and "Modric, 10" prior to the UEFA EURO 2024 group stage match between Spain and Croatia at Olympiastadion on June 15, 2024 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Tullio Puglia - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Youth takes on experience

So we have, according to our friends at SkyBet, the fifth favourites versus the ninth favourites today.

There will be a lot of star talent on display. Barcelona’s 16-year-old starlet Lamine Yamal will be one player of interest – he’s expected to start on the right for Spain this afternoon. His mate, Pedri, will play in midfield, alongside City star Rodri.

For Croatia, the old guard will be out in force with Luka Modric, 22 years Yamal’s senior, set to feature. As will the likes of Ivan Perisic, who left Tottenham this summer, and of course City defender Josko Gvardiol.

It may be one of those games where a moment of brilliance can win it. Jamal Musiala was the star last night in Germany’s win over Scotland – let’s see who can step up here.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifier - Group A - Cyprus v Spain - Alphamega Stadium, Limassol, Cyprus - November 16, 2023 Spain's Lamine Yamal celebrates scoring their first goal with Gavi REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou/File Photo

BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 14: Luka Modric of Croatia during a Croatia training session at the Olympic Stadium on June 14, 2024 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Pixsell/MB Media/Getty Images)

Spain vs Croatia is next up!

Good afternoon and welcome to Mail Sport’s live blog for arguably the most hotly-anticipated match for today and potentiallt the whole group stage.

Spain and Croatia meet in the first game of Group B at Euro 2024, reigniting a modern rivalry which has been full of drama, goals and heartache for both sides.

This tie will see experience versus youth as Luis De la Fuente’s starlets lead the charge for a Spanish side who are far from the European and global dominance they displayed throughout the late 2000s and early 2010s.

Croatia on the other hand head into Euro 2024 as dark horses once again despite making it to last year’s Nations League final and walking away with bronze medals at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Ahead of kick-off, we will have updates, team news and quotes from the bosses as well as plenty of snaps from Berlin to showcase the atmosphere. Once the game gets underway at 5pm, make sure to stick with us as we will be providing minute-by-minute action of the Group B fixture.

Key Updates

Related Posts

Our Privacy policy

https://todaynews24h.com - © 2024 News