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Euro 2016 Group D Final Matches a few quick thoughts

  • Croatia may be the tournament dark horses for some but that will no longer be the case now they have beaten holders Spain and in turn gone on to be winners of Group D
  • Thankfully the game was played without any of the scenes we witnessed in the crowd between Croatia and the Czech Republic
  • It looked as if Spain were heading for a perfect 100% group record after Alvaro Morata celebrated his return to Real Madrid by putting Spain in front
  • It was his 7th minute goal which gave the holders the lead and after their performance against Turkey it looked as if they had picked up where they left off
  • Ivan Rakitic nearly leveled soon after though, his sumptuous chip ended up hitting both crossbar and post
  • But Croatia came more into the game and would get a deserved equaliser when Nikola Kalinic turned in Ivan Perisic’s cross.
  • A draw would have been enough for Spain to top the group but they still went in search of a winner
  • They were presented with a perfect opportunity in which to do so when they were awarded a Penalty with quarter of an hour remaining
  • For all their attacking talent on the pitch it certainly raised some eyebrows when Sergio Ramos stepped up to the spot kick
  • His effort was well saved by Danijel Subasic but questions must be asked as to how no-one spotted the fact that he was a full three foot off his line by the time Ramos took the Penalty
  • In the grand scheme of things it didn’t change all that much, but there was to be one final twist in the tale
  • Croatia broke quickly with the ball being sent over to Ivan Perisic on the left hand side
  • He was found unmarked and made route to David De Dea’s goal
  • It was somewhat of an opportunistic effort as you would have though De Gea would have his near post covered
  • Only he didn’t
  • The ball was able to arrow low inside the near post and give Croatia the lead with just three minutes to go
  • Spain were somewhat shell shocked and had no answer as Croatia went on to top Group D
  • A defeat for Victor Del Bosque’s side was bad enough but that was then coupled with the news that they will face Italy in the Round of 16
  • We have our first blockbuster clash of the tournament
  • Croatia will now await their opposition but they play on Saturday night
  • In the other group game Turkey have finally come alive after beating the Czech Republic
  • But have they left it too late
  • They will now be hoping that the results in Group E and F go there way later this Evening
  • Arda Turan would have gone some way to silencing the boo boys after his goal secured all three points
  • That was after Burak Yilmaz put Turkey ahead after just 10 minutes
  • It gives Turkey hope but it also send the Czech Republic home
  • Just a solitary point from the group stage sees them bottom of Group D
  • Turkey were much improved from the offering in their first two group matches
  • They also had Volkan Babacan to thank for a string of saves to keep the Czech’s at bay
  • Turkey had to fight for a win but their fans and Manager Fatih Terim would have wished they should that fight at the start of the competition
  • It’s now a nervous wait for them
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