Spain secured their first win of Euro 2020 with a 5-0 demolition of Slovakia in Group E. La Roja knew this was a must-win game after their tepid draws with Sweden and Poland if they were to qualify for the knockouts.
The Spaniards were handed a golden opportunity early on in the form of a penalty. A VAR review found that Koke had gotten to the ball just before Jakub Hromeda clipped his ankles in the box. Alvaro Morata stepped up but saw his bad luck in front of goal at Euro 2020 continue as his effort was well saved by Martin Dubravka. The Juventus striker went close again in the 24th minute but was repelled again by the Slovakia goalkeeper.
Dubravka’s promising performance was ruined in the 30th minute, however, when he inadvertently gave Spain the lead. After Pablo Sarrabia’s effort cannoned upwards off the crossbar, the Newcastle keeper attempted to punch the ball behind for a corner. But he misjudged his jump and ended up punching it into the back of his own net.
After a freak opening goal, Spain continued to dominate possession and added a second goal right before the half ended. Slovakia failed to clear Koke’s corner and Spain recycled the ball well. With the ball sent through, Gerard Moreno ended up beating Dubravka to get there first. He then dinked a cross into the box that found Aymeric Laporte’s head. The centre-back nodded the ball back across goal and into the top right corner to make it 2-0.
⏸️ HALF-TIME ⏸️— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 23, 2021
⚽️ Own goal breaks deadlock, Laporte doubles Spain lead…
🇸🇰🆚🇪🇸 Slovakia comeback incoming? #EURO2020
Euro 2020: Spain complete demolition in second half
Spain picked up from where they left off in the second half and found the back of the net again in the 56th minute. Jordi Alba’s low cross from the left was turned in by Sarrabia to extend their lead and effectively end the game as a contest. Spain now looked set to progress to the Euro 2020 knockouts.
However, they were not done just yet. Sarrabia turned provider in the 67th minute when he fired in a low ball from the right which was directed home by Ferran Torres. Less than five minutes later, Spain had five when Slovakia’s defending once again crumbled and cost them dearly.
A failed clearance led to some header tennis in the box which ended with Pau Torres attacking the ball. His shot eventually ricocheted off Juraj Kucka and found the back of the net. It was the eighth own goal of Euro 2020, the most ever in a single European Championship.
After scoring just one goal in their opening two Euro 2020 matches, La Roja ended the group stage with six goals to their name.
Spain’s triumphant win means they will next take on Croatia in the Euro 2020 Round of 16. The Croats collected four points in the group stage, losing to England, drawing with the Czech Republic and beating Scotland.
Slovakia, despite their earlier win over Poland, crashed out of Euro 2020. The huge margin of defeat to Spain ended their chances of progressing as one of the four best 3rd-place teams.