After Weeks Of Horrid Abuse Online, Alvaro Morata Scores A Rocket For Spain In Unreal 8-Goal Thriller

What. A. Game. 

Spain and Croatia played the most entertaining game of Euro 2020 so far with a spectacular 5-3 victory in extra time for the 2010 World Cup champions. 

Spain vs Croatia Highlights

The crazy tone for the game was set 20 minutes in when Spanish goalkeeper Unai Simón made one of the biggest mistakes in the tournament so far. The own goal was officially given to Pedri who can now claim the honor of the longest own goal in Euro history. 

Spain equalized just before the half through Pablo Sarabia.

The second half brought an avalanche of goals. Spain appeared to have complete control of the game. César Azpilicueta became Spain’s oldest goal scorer at the Euros when his header gave his side the lead for the first time in the game.

My original headline for this story was about Spain cruising to a dominant victory. I had written that title after Ferran Torres scored Spain’s third goal in the 76th minute. Many watching thought the 3-1 score line meant game over.

Boy, were we wrong. 

Two Croatia goals in the span of seven minutes turned the game on its head. What went from a comfortable Spanish victory quickly became the game of the tournament.

This game had everything. The most special moment of the game came in the 100th minute.

Morata Goal vs Croatia

Other than an early Croatia flurry, Spain flew out of the extra time gates and dominated the bonus half hour of play. 

In the 100th minute a beautiful swinging ball in from Dani Almo found the foot of Alvaro Morata who buried the chance. The magnificent finish from Morata meant much more than putting Spain in front.

The Juventus striker has had a tournament to forget up until this point. We at The18 have even referred to him as a point-blank miss merchant

These criticisms are all fair, but what isn’t fair to Morata is the number of threats he’s been receiving to himself and his family. He shared the abuse he’s been facing online with a Spanish radio station after the game against Slovakia in which he missed a penalty kick.

"I understand I get criticism for not scoring goals. I'm the first to know and accept it," Morata said. "I wish people would put themselves in the position of seeing what it is to receive threats and insults to your family, 'I hope your children die.' [This week] I had to put my phone away.

"[Memes] don't bother me, but what annoys me is what my wife has to go through," he added. "My kids go to Seville with their dad's name on their shirts. Yes [they've had things said to them]. I understand criticism for not doing my job well. But there's a limit."

Morata scoring such a thunderous goal in what will go down as the game of the tournament should hopefully be a big boost for him mentally. 

Spain added a fifth goal in the 103rd minute to extend the lead.

The 8-goal thriller is the second-highest number of goals scored in a Euro game in history. Spain will advance to play the winner of France vs. Switzerland.

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