International Matches - Under 21

Croatia 2 - Spain 3

Croatia: Livakovic; Mikanovic, Caleta-Car, Kolinger, Milic; Pasalic (Coric 89’), Radosevic, Kovacic; Halilovic, Pjaca (Tudor 66’), Vlasic (Peric 24‘). 4-3-3.
Spain: Kepa; Manquillo, Jonny (Jorge Meré 59’), Jesús Vallejo, Gayà; Saúl Ñíguez; Deulofeu (Duarte 84’), Óliver Torres, Marco Asensio (Denis Suárez 66’), Dani Ceballos; Iñaki Williams. 4-1-4-1.

0-1. 19. Deulofeu (penalty). After Kolinger sent off for pulling down Williams.
0-2. 41. Asensio. Turned shot past Livakovic after Dani Ceballos laid ball back.
0-3. 54. Deulofeu. Intercepted poor Livakovic pass and turned shot back into net.
1-3. 64. Pasalic. Steered shot past Kepa after Radosevic free kick came off wall.
2-3. 80. Radosevic (penalty). After Meré sent off for pulling back Tudor in area.

Spain’s under 21 side moved to the top of their group after a 2-3 victory over leaders Croatia, although it was a close thing in the end as the East Europeans fought back from three down with ten men to come within a whisker of saving a point. Things swung in Spain’s favour early on when Kolinger was sent off for bringing down Williams in the area, Deulofeu converting the spot kick. That was the first goal they had let in during the group stage, but with the first half coming to a close Marco Asensio made it two after Dani Ceballos laid the ball back from the by-line. When Deulofeu intercepted a poor clearance by Livakovic to turn a shot back into the net it appeared to be all over, but Kepa had to make the save of the evening from Pasalic soon afterwards, and some twenty minutes into the second half the ex-Elche midfielder got one back after a Radosevic free kick came back off the defensive wall. A few minutes later Caneta-Car had a strike ruled out for offside, and with ten minutes to go substitute Jorge Meré was red carded for pulling back Tudor in the area, Radosevic slotting home the resulting penalty. The match went into injury time, and Tudor and Halilovic both hit the woodwork. But then Mikanovic stupidly got himself sent off with a second yellow card for taking out Ceballos, and the game ended seconds later. A brilliant battle between two excellent sides, but a lesson to all that it’s not over until the final whistle.