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Friday, May 24, 2024
HomeFootballSpain Gets Off To A Flying Start Against Croatia In Euro 2024...

Spain Gets Off To A Flying Start Against Croatia In Euro 2024 Qualifying

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Spain will next face Scotland, who defeated Cyprus 3-0 in their Group A opener at Hampden Park thanks to two late goals by replacement Scott McTominay.

In the first round of Euro 2024 qualifications on Saturday, Spain defeated Norway 3-0, despite the absence of injured Erling Haaland, while Wales stunned Croatia with a stoppage-time equaliser. On 13 minutes, Dani Olmo converted Alejandro Balde’s driven low cross, and Joselu scored twice on his Spain debut to earn new coach Luis de la Fuente a victory in his first match in charge. On his first start for Spain since October 2020, Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga made a brilliant reflex save to deny Fredrik Aursnes and clawed another attempt off the line.

After that, Alexander Sorloth volleyed wide before Joselu came off the bench and scored a quick-fire double, driving in the first and sweeping home a rebound for the second.

“I still can’t believe it,” said Joselu, 32, the first Spaniard to score twice on his international debut since Fernando Morientes in 1998.

“This is the best thing that could happen to any player.” It’s the payoff for all of your hard effort.”

Spain will next face Scotland, who defeated Cyprus 3-0 in their Group A opener at Hampden Park thanks to two late goals from replacement Scott McTominay.

Cyprus ended with 10 men after Nicholas Ioannou was sent off in added time for a second yellow card.

“It’s a really good start, but we need to back it up against Spain on Tuesday,” Scotland manager Steve Clarke said.

Norway, which hasn’t competed in a big tournament since Euro 2000, will be without Manchester City striker Haaland again for next week’s trip to Georgia due to a groyne injury.

  • An unlikely Welsh hero

Croatia, champions and semi-finalists in the previous two World Cups, conceded a last-gasp equaliser to Wales debutant Nathan Broadhead, who tapped in a flick-on from a long throw.

According to Broadhead, a player for third-tier Ipswich, “I got a bit overwhelmed to be honest, a bit emotional.” For so long, I’ve been anticipating this time.

We came here in search of a victory, but a point is useful too, so we needed one.

Croatia took the advantage in Split against Wales, a team playing for the first time without captain and leading scorer Gareth Bale, thanks to a low shot from Andrej Kramaric from just outside the area.

Luka Modric earned his 163rd cap for Croatia, who have never dropped a home European Championship qualifier – a streak that now spans 36 games going back to 1994.

Ozan Kabak, a former Liverpool defender, scored an early own goal, but goals from Orkun Kokcu and Kerem Akturkoglu allowed Turkey to come back and beat Armenia 2-1 in Yerevan.

In a game performed behind closed doors in Serbia, Switzerland thrashed Belarus 5-0 thanks to a hat-trick from Renato Steffen in the first half.

Due to Belarus’ backing for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, UEFA has prohibited the nation from participating in home matches.

Zeki Amdouni, making his second appearance for his country, and Granit Xhaka both added goals in the second half to help Switzerland move to the summit of Group I.

Romania won 2-0 with ease thanks to goals from Dennis Man and Denis Alibec.

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