Men's Team

Torres shines again for Spain in eight-goal thriller

Ferran Torres was again on target as Spain recovered from a bizarre own goal to beat Croatia 5-3 in an absorbing Euro 2020 encounter.

Th City winger sparkled throughout and had a hand in the first three goals for Luiz Enrique’s side as he continued to sparkle for his country.

But La Roja first needed to recover from an incredible own goal with 20 minutes played, as Pedri knocked a ball back to Unai Simon from near the halfway line, only for his keeper to take his eye off the ball as it arrived at his feet and see it brush his shin and roll into the net.

Spain had to compose themselves as Croatia’s confidence grew in the moments after, but gradually regained their composure and Torres was involved in the move that ended with Pablo Sarabia thumping hone the equaliser on 38 minutes.

Torres, switching wings to equal effect, was at his devastating best when he sent in yet another tempting cross on 57 minutes, this time headed home by Chelsea skipper Caesar Azpilicueta to put Spain 2-1 up.

Aymeric Laporte was having another impressive game at the back, but Eric Garcia – whose switch to Barcelona becomes official on 1 July – was substituted on 72 minutes for Pau Torres.

And it was Pau who set up namesake Ferran on 76 minutes with a superb cross-field pass that Torres took down superbly as he muscled his way past a defender and then tucked the ball home to make it 3-1.

It was Ferran’s eighth goal in 15 appearances for his country and the 21 year-old City winger looks set for a thrilling 2021/22 campaign.

Incredibly, Croatia fought back with two goals in the last few minutes with the first from Mislav Orsic reducing the arrears to 3-2 and then Mario Pasalic grabbing a dramatic leveller two minutes into added time to force an additional 30 minutes.

Ferran’s evening was ended on 88 minutes and with five subs used, that meant Rodrigo remained on the bench until the 111th minute when he replaced Sergio Busquets –  just moments before, Alvaro Morata had restored Spain’s lead in this enthralling Round of 16 clash.

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Miguel Oyarzabal added a fifth for the Spanish  on the stroke of extra time half-time to make it 5-3 as the goals continued to flow.

The Croatians couldn’t repeat their heroics and claw back another two-goal deficit so it is Spain who progress to the quarter-finals where they will face Switzerland or France.

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