Euro 2024: Spain Claim Commanding 3-0 Victory over Croatia

Spain made a winning start to their Euro 2024 campaign, outclassing Group B rivals Croatia with a convincing 3-0 triumph at Berlin’s Olympiastadion.

Inspired by Barcelona prodigy Lamine Yamal, who made history as the youngest player ever to feature at a European Championship at 16 years and 338 days old, Luis de la Fuente’s side dominated the first half to secure all three points.

Spain captain Alvaro Morata opened the scoring with a clinical one-on-one finish before midfielder Fabian Ruiz doubled the lead with a powerful strike. Full-back Dani Carvajal then added a third, poking home Yamal’s superb cross for his first international goal, just two weeks after netting in the Champions League final.

The result represents a near-perfect start to the tournament for Spain, though there was concern over an apparent knock to Manchester City’s Rodri, who was substituted late on.

Yamal’s outstanding display, which included a crucial assist, saw the teenage sensation crowned the Player of the Match, eclipsing the previous youngest-player record set by Poland’s Kacper Kozlowski at Euro 2020.

Despite enjoying more possession, Croatia were unable to capitalize on their chances, with Marc Cucurella clearing an effort off the line and a late goal ruled out for encroachment after a penalty.

The victory may signal a shift in Spain’s identity, as their clinical first-half performance and the direct attacking play of Yamal and Nico Williams contrasted with the possession-heavy approach that has defined them in recent tournaments.

Speaking after the game, Spain captain Morata said: “This is a template for how we have to approach all our matches right from the start.” The result leaves Spain well-placed in Group B, with Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic acknowledging his side were unable to get back into the game after the early deficit.

๐Ÿ”— Source