As expected, Spain had more of the possession and Croatian goalkeeper Jukić was called to action, but coach Stanković’s men were often in brave counterattack, especially through Marinović, and they took the lead in tenth minute. Babić reacted quickly in front of Rafa and put the ball in the net.
The equalizer came in the 16th minute, after the set piece and Ortiz’ assist for Aicardo, who found the net from the distance. However, Croatia continued to surge forward when possible and two minutes later Marinović found Jelovčić, who placed the ball in the far corner and Croatia led 2:1 at half-time. The Spaniards hit the post twice in the opening minutes of the second half, and turned the tide in a very short period of time, with a brace from Lin.
Going 3:2, Croatia decided to take a chance with a flying goalkeeper, with Capar in that role, and it was Capar who scored in the 38th minute and secured a point. In the final seconds, Spain hit the bar, but Croatian defence was holding firm.
On Friday, Croatia will play Czech Republic, and victory means progress in the competition, to the quarterfinal stage. (HNS/UEFA/Sportsfile)