SPANISH FOOTBALL | SPORTS: EURO 2012 | CROATIA 0 - SPAIN 1 | SPAIN TOP SPOT OF GROUP C

EURO 2012 | CROATIA 0 - SPAIN 1 | SPAIN TOP SPOT OF GROUP C

SPAIN has finished on top of  Group C after narrowly defeating CROATIA 0 - 1 in a result that in itself eliminates Croatia & allows Italy through on second spot after the Italians won 2 - 0 Ireland.

The SPAIN FOOTBALL TEAM will now play with the second placed of Group D that will be settled tomorrow & that could be either France or England.


Spanish Football Team 2012
Spain Football Team photo

The above photo is the starting line-up 11 Spanish Team which was a repeat of the Ireland match. 


Spanish Football Team 2012
Pique
The Croatian team started very  defensive ( 5 midfielders ) , marking key men like Iniesta & Xavi & physical during the first half of the match. Spain touched a lot & had chances but failed to convert the possesion into any real danger. The match turned "sticky" for Spain, frustrating as time went on & even dangerous during certain periods.

Spain resorted to some long range shots Xabi, Ramos & Pique in an attempt to override the Croatian defensive wall that was solid & uncomfortable.


Spanish Football Team 2012
Casillas

Things complicated itself for both sides. In the other Group game Italy was ahead & with a draw between Croatia & Spain the latter was through, but a goal by Croatia would eliminate the current World & European Champions.

There was also some risky actions by Spanish players that could have been costly. Sergio Ramos may have committed a penalty on Mandzokic late first half that was not called. In the second half IKER CASILLAS made two vital saves that reaffirms why his nick-name in Spanish is "El Santo" - The Saint. The Spanish goalie stopped a certain Rakitic header & another shot that if not halted would have put Croatia ahead & sent Spain home.

This time Spain can claim to have had the luck of the Champions. It was that close!


Spanish Football Team 2012
Iniesta & Navas celebrate


Croatia moved their pieces & put on more forwards sacrificing defensive players. Spain put on Jesus Navas for Torres to break the Croatian defence & later Cesc for Silva to put on the field some fresh ideas.

It was an even affair & dangerous - for both sides - as time was running out. A goal by Croatia would knock out Spain as they would not have the time to react. Then in the 87th min a Cesc pass found Iniesta who controlled & passed to Navas who was alone to score the winner & secure the Q/Final birth for Spain & Group C top spot.

Spain won, but it was truly suffered & on-edge Football. One can say it was the type of "dirty" match that all aspiring Champions must go through. Perhaps this was Spain´s dirty match in this 2012 Euro Championships. The other lesson is that from here onwards its the "business end" & rivals will only get stronger & better. In fact every game from now on is a final.

Unlucky for Croatia which may have deserved more, more than Italy perhaps, but Football is an uncaring & heartless game at times.


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