Euro 2020: Spain goalie's epic whiff leads to first of 8 goals in wild Spain win over Croatia

·3 min read

Spain's Euro 2020 victory over Croatia on Monday was wild.

Spain advanced to the quarterfinals with a 5-3 win in extra time. The game featured a late comeback by Croatia to send the game past the end of regulation and began with an incredible whiff by goalie Unai Simon for the first goal of the game. 

Let's star with Simon's blunder, which came when he was unable to field a fairly straightforward back pass from midfielder Pedri in the first half. The ball glanced off Simon's right foot as he went to control it and rolled into the back of the net as he helplessly watched on.

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The goal, officially given to Pedri as an own goal, gave Croatia a 1-0 lead before Pablo Sarabia equalized for Spain later in the first half.

Spain scored twice to take a 3-1 lead in the second half and make a quarterfinal trip seem like a formality. But Croatia scored twice in the final 11 minutes of the game to tie it at 3-3 at the end of regulation.

The first goal came from Mislav Orsic in the 85th minute. Then Mario Pasalic tied it in added time with a gorgeous header off a cross as Spain somehow left him open in front of goal. 

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Extra time got off to a roaring start thanks to Alvaro Morata. The Spain striker had struggled to score in Euro 2020 but bagged his first goal of the tournament to give Spain a 4-3 lead in the 100th minute. 

Morata's goal came after Simon had to make a huge save to deny Croatia a lead not long after the start of the first extra period. 

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Mikel Oyarzabal scored three minutes after Morata to give Spain a two-goal advantage that it wouldn't relinquish. 

Spain was heavily favored entering Monday's game after finishing second in Group E. The Spaniards drew with Sweden and Poland before beating Slovakia in the final group stage game to book a place against Croatia in the knockout rounds. 

Simon's blunder led to the ninth own goal of the tournament. That equals the record of all previous European Championships combined.

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And for the sake of goalkeepers around the world, we hope it's the last time this tournament that we see a goalie fail like his. He at least made up for it throughout the rest of the game with some epic saves, especially in extra time. Spain will now play the winner of Monday afternoon's game between France and Switzerland in the quarterfinals. 

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