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Navas strikes late to break Croatia resistance

Published: Monday 18 June 2012, 22.43CET
Croatia 0-1 Spain
Substitute Jesús Navas scored the only goal of a tight contest with two minutes remaining to send Spain through and eliminate Croatia.
by Paul Bryan
from Arena Gdansk

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Match statistics

CroatiaSpain

Goals scored0
1
Possession (%)36
 
64
Total attempts5
 
14
Attempts on target3
 
10
Attempts off target2
 
4
Attempts blocked0
2
Attempts against woodwork0
 
0
Corners4
 
11
Offsides0
1
Yellow cards6
 
0
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed21
 
16
Fouls suffered16
 
18

Standings

Last updated: 12/02/2013 17:13 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Monday 18 June 2012, 22.43CET

Navas strikes late to break Croatia resistance

Croatia 0-1 Spain
Substitute Jesús Navas scored the only goal of a tight contest with two minutes remaining to send Spain through and eliminate Croatia.

A goal two minutes from time by substitute Jesús Navas earned Spain a hard-fought victory over Croatia that sent Vicente del Bosque's side through to the UEFA EURO 2012 quarter-finals and eliminated their opponents from the tournament.

Both teams knew a victory in their final Group C game would ensure a passage through to the last eight as section winners and following a tense encounter at the Arena Gdansk, it was Navas who settled matters after slotting home  Andrés Iniesta's lay-off in the closing moments at the Arena Gdansk.

With Slaven Bilić opting to sacrifice striker Nikica Jelavić to incorporate a compact 4-5-1 formation, the game quickly took on a pattern of Spain possession and Croatia counterattacking. The holders pressed and probed for openings in the final third of the field and fashioned the first chance of the night with Fernando Torres heading over from a Xavi Hernández corner.

A constant threat throughout the encounter with his quick feet and excellent vision, David Silva then found the tightest of openings through which to thread a low pass in for Andrés Iniesta whose first touch could only help the ball into the path of goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa.

Scorer of two goals in his team's 4-0 victory over the Republic of Ireland, Torres appeared hungry to add to his tournament tally as he stormed goalwards from the right flank before thumping a low drive at the target which Pletikosa beat out for a corner. As the half progressed, Xabi Alonso looked to alleviate the sense of frustration building in his team-mates and went close with a long-range shot that flew narrowly over the crossbar, the same fate that then befell Gerard Piqué’s tester from outside the box.

With news filtering through of an Antonio Cassano opener for Italy against the Republic of Ireland in Poznan, Croatia – looking to progress to the EURO quarter-finals for a second successive time – began to move forward with more purpose and tested Iker Casillas through Danijel Pranjić's left-foot effort which the goalkeeper gathered.

With so much at stake, tension began to fill the warm air at the Arena Gdansk. Luka Modrić looked to show the way when he confidently led a counterattack that eventually saw the Tottenham Hotspur FC schemer arc a wonderful pass to the far post with the outside of his right foot which Ivan Rakitić met with a header that was denied by Casillas's flying stop.

That chance prompted a change in Spain's tactics with Torres making way for Navas and it led to the match eventually turning in La Roja's favour. Prior to that, the team's second substitute, Cesc Fàbregas was crowded out after taking too long over a shot while Casillas was called on again to palm out Ivan Perišić’s drive at the other end.

With the game seemingly heading for a draw, Fàbregas chipped through for the onrushing Iniesta to run clear and, spotting team-mate Navas alongside him, he delivered the pass for the winger to finish and send Spain through.


Last updated: 26/10/12 14.14CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2012/matches/round=15172/match=2003339/postmatch/report/index.html#navas+ends+croatia+resistance

Lineups

Croatia

Croatia

Spain

Spain

1
PletikosaStipe Pletikosa (GK)
1
CasillasIker Casillas (GK) (C)
2
StrinićIvan Strinić
Yellow Card53
3
PiquéGerard Piqué
5
ČorlukaVedran Ćorluka
Yellow Card27
6
IniestaAndrés Iniesta
6
PranjićDanijel Pranjić
Substitution66
8
Xavi HernándezXavi Hernández
Substitution89
7
RakitićIvan Rakitić
Yellow Card90+3
9
TorresFernando Torres
Substitution61
8
VukojevićOgnjen Vukojević
Substitution81
14
Xabi AlonsoXabi Alonso
10
ModrićLuka Modrić
15
RamosSergio Ramos
11
SrnaDarijo Srna (C)
Yellow Card44
16
BusquetsSergio Busquets
13
SchildenfeldGordon Schildenfeld
17
ArbeloaÁlvaro Arbeloa
17
MandžukićMario Mandžukić
Yellow Card90
18
Jordi AlbaJordi Alba
21
VidaDomagoj Vida
Substitution66
21
SilvaDavid Silva
Substitution73

Substitutes

12
KelavaIvan Kelava (GK)
12
Víctor ValdésVíctor Valdés (GK)
23
SubašićDanijel Subašić (GK)
23
ReinaPepe Reina (GK)
3
ŠimunićJosip Šimunić
2
AlbiolRaúl Albiol
4
BuljatJurica Buljat
4
Javi MartínezJavi Martínez
9
JelavićNikica Jelavić
Substitution66
Yellow Card90+1
5
JuanfranJuanfran
14
BadeljMilan Badelj
7
Pedro RodríguezPedro Rodríguez
15
VrsaljkoŠime Vrsaljko
10
FàbregasCesc Fàbregas
Substitution73
16
DujmovićTomislav Dujmović
11
NegredoÁlvaro Negredo
Substitution89
18
N. KalinićNikola Kalinić
13
Juan MataJuan Mata
19
KranjčarNiko Kranjčar
19
LlorenteFernando Llorente
20
PerišićIvan Perišić
Substitution66
20
Santi CazorlaSanti Cazorla
22
EduardoEduardo
Substitution81
22
Jesús NavasJesús Navas
Substitution61
Goal88

Coach

Slaven Bilić (CRO) Vicente del Bosque (ESP)

Referee

Wolfgang Stark (GER)

Assistant referees

Jan-Hendrik Salver (GER), Mike Pickel (GER)

Fourth official

Richard Liesveld (NED)

Additional assistant referees

Florian Meyer (GER), Deniz Aytekin (GER)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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