Euro 2021: Spain crush Slovakia, Sweden inch past Poland

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Spain claimed the biggest win of the tournament with a 5-0 thrashing of Slovakia in their final European Championship Group E match on Wednesday to finish second in the group and set up a last-16 clash with Croatia in Copenhagen.

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Goals from Aymeric Laporte, Pablo Sarabia, Ferran Torres and two own goals from Martin Dubravka and Juraj Kucka sealed Spain’s progress to the knockout stages.

Slovakia were eliminated as four other third-placed teams had either more points or a better goal difference.

Dubravka saved an early penalty from Alvaro Morata but gifted Spain the opener when he attempted to punch a rebound off Sarabia’s shot over the bar, only to palm it into his own net.

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Aymeric Laporte doubled the lead before halftime. Sarabia was then rewarded with a goal when left back Jordi Alba swung a cross into the box and the Paris Saint-Germain winger found space to take a first-time shot that went in off the post.

Sarabia turned provider when he set up substitute Ferran Torres who scored within a minute of coming on, flicking a low cross past Dubravka for the fifth. Spain forced another own goal minutes later when Kucka failed to clear off the line. 

Most exciting game

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In the other Group E game, Sweden sent Poland home from the European Championship on Wednesday with a stoppage time winner to make it 3-2 in one of the tournament’s most exciting games.

Sweden appeared to be cruising after Emil Forsberg scored the second fastest goal in Euros’ history a mere 82 seconds in, followed by a second-half breakaway strike.

But Poland’s Robert Lewandowski, who hit the bar twice in the first half, narrowed Sweden’s lead two minutes later with a curling shot from outside the edge of the penalty area, then got a second in the 84th minute to set up a thrilling finale.

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Viktor Claesson got Sweden’s winner in stoppage time.

Sweden now top the group and, in the knockout stage, Sweden will face one of the third-placed sides in Glasgow on June 29.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

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