Holy damn. Where do I even start with Monday at the Euros. Okay here goes. The World Cup finalists from Russia 2018 both went out yesterday in games they both really should have won. I will focus here with Croatia because they produced the best soccer. Croatia pulled themselves from within the brink at 3-1 to force extra time and then lose the game for real. Spain played the pleasing on the eye but the “street fighting”mentally tough as nails Croats were always in it. Zlatko Dalic got his initial formation all wrong, his team needed two sitting midfielders to protect their fragile back four which was constantly exposed by the defense splitting pass. Spain keeper Unai Simon was huge in this game both in a good way and bad. The own goal didn’t exactly cover himself in glory but his heroics in extra time(saving from Kramaric was HUGE) for me won this tie for the Spanish.I hear someone say De Gea would have dealt with it. Please don’t start Man United fans.
Vida’s time in the Croatian national team is definitely over. Sub par performance from the normally steely defender. Caleta-Car was slightly the better of the two center backs.Brekalo allowed the ball to drop to Morata in extra time for 4-3, another infuriating error. Luka Modric was influential in the second stanza of normal time, his drive in midfield allowed the focal point for the quick counters that led to Croatia score 2 goals in last 5 minutes of the game. Sadly I reckon he has played his last Euro for his homeland. The key for Spain victory was them slowly down play in the second half of extra time not allowing the tiring Croatians time on the ball. The Croatians will rue the missed chances in extra time and wonder what might have been.Morata had an excellent game answering his critics emphatically. Not only was he holding the ball up well he scored to cap it off. Spain will have to improve defensively against the Swiss in the last eight, the goals they conceded particularly the Pasalic goal was down to defenders marking space instead of taking the man.