Euro 2020: Slovakia 0-5 Spain: La Roja rampant after Dubravka howler to reach last 16
Luis Enrique’s men required a win in Wednesday’s clash to guarantee progression after drawing their first two games and they were given a huge helping hand by Dubravka.
The Slovakia keeper saved an Alvaro Morata penalty early on – the fifth in a row Spain have missed – before comically flapping the ball into his own net with half an hour played.
That put Spain on their way to an emphatic win, the first time they have ever scored five times in a European Championship match.
Aymeric Laporte’s first international goal made it two before the break and strikes from Pablo Sarabia and Ferran Torres, plus Juraj Kucka’s own goal, made certain of victory after the interval.
Spain were awarded a penalty inside the first 12 minutes after VAR intervened and adjudged Jakub Hromada fouled Koke when attempting to clear the ball.
Dubravka dived to his right and got two hands to the powerful attempt but, after chances went begging for Sarabia and Pedri, the keeper went from hero to zero.
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 23, 2021
Sarabia’s long-range shot looped into the air after striking the crossbar and Dubravka, under a bit of pressure from Morata, inexplicably pushed the ball into his own net.
Dubravka could have done better for Spain’s second goal, too, as Gerard Moreno beat the marauding keeper to a ball and crossed for Laporte to head into the top-right corner.
Spain were in complete control of the game when Sarabia swept home Jordi Alba’s pass into the bottom-right corner with 56 minutes on the clock.
Slovakia still had a chance of advancing as one of the best third-placed sides, but substitute Torres flicked Sarabia’s cross past Dubravka just 44 seconds after entering the pitch and Kucka knocked the ball into his own net soon after for Spain’s fifth.
What does it mean? Spain get lift-off – but miss out on top spot
Group E was wide open heading into the final round of matches and it served up a dramatic conclusion, with Sweden grabbing top spot courtesy of a last-gasp 3-2 win against Poland in a game that saw them squander a two-goal lead.
Despite this hugely impressive victory for Spain, which was the joint-largest margin of victory by any side in a European Championship match, they must settle for second place and a last-16 tie with World Cup 2018 runners-up Croatia in Copenhagen next Monday.
Slovakia can no longer advance, but these set of results ensure that Ukraine are through to the knockout rounds, while Finland are left to wait on the outcome of Group F’s final two fixtures later on Wednesday to see if they will also make it through.
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