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Carvajal celebrates his goal against Croatia. AFP
Spain get Euro 2024 campaign off to the perfect start
Football

Spain get Euro 2024 campaign off to the perfect start

Luis de la Fuente's side recorded a statement 3-0 win over Croatia in Berlin on Saturday evening

Daryl Finch

Malaga

Saturday, 15 June 2024, 20:31

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Spain's push for a fourth European Championship title got off to the best-possible start with a dominant 3-0 victory over Croatia at Olympiastadion Berlin on Saturday evening.

First-half goals from Álvaro Morata, Fabián Ruiz, and Dani Carvajal secured the win for La Roja, establishing an early lead that Croatia never threatened to overturn.

Morata opened the scoring after 27 minutes, capitalising on a precise through ball from Ruiz to net his 36th international goal and his third against Croatia in European Championships, having scored in Euro 2016 and 2020.

Just three minutes later, Ruiz doubled Spain's lead with a deflected shot.

Not satisfied, Spain continued their offensive, with Carvajal sliding to score in first-half stoppage time from a Lamine Yamal cross to the near post.

Spain nearly extended their lead in the second half, but Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic made an impressive low save against Yamal, who made history by becoming the youngest player in Euros history at 16 years and 338 days.

Croatia's best opportunity came late on when Bruno Petkovic had a late penalty saved by Unai Simón, and his follow-up goal was disallowed for encroachment.

The 2022 World Cup semi-finalists will look to recover against Albania on Thursday, while Spain prepare to face holders Italy in Gelsenkirchen.

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