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Spain national football team
European Championship | Group Stage
Jun 15, 2024 at 5pm UK
Olympiastadion Berlin
Croatia national football team

3 - 0

Morata (29'), Ruiz (32'), Carvajal (45+2')
Rodri (78')
FT(HT: 3-0)

Luka Modric urges Croatia to move on quickly from three-goal Spain defeat

Modric addresses Croatia's huge setback at Euro 2024
© Reuters
Croatia captain Luka Modric says that his side must move on quickly from their 3-0 defeat to Spain at Euro 2024.

Croatia captain Luka Modric has said that his side must move on quickly from their disappointing 3-0 defeat to Spain in their opening match at Euro 2024.

Alvaro Morata, Fabian Ruiz and Dani Carvajal all scored in the first half of Saturday's contest, with Spain collecting all three points in emphatic fashion.

Croatia struggled for long stages of the match, but Modric has said that his team must now focus on their last two games in the section against Albania and Italy on June 19 and June 24 respectively.

"It's not the result we were hoping for, but it is what it is. We still have two more matches to improve and make up for it. In the first half, we weren't ourselves; we lacked energy and stood too far from their players. They punished us for it," UEFA's official website quoted Modric as saying.

"We had our chances too, but it was one of those matches where nothing you try works. We improved in the second half and were much better, but it wasn't enough. In my opinion, their victory was deserved. It was perhaps just a bit too high in terms of the score.

Croatia's Josko Gvardiol in action with Spain's Lamine Yamal on June 15, 2024© Reuters

Croatia are now under pressure in Group B

"We no longer have the right to make mistakes; we have to recover and win the upcoming matches. In a way, that's a good thing because we know we have no other option but to win. We need to prepare well, analyse what went wrong and be much better, especially in terms of energy."

Meanwhile, head coach Zlatko Dalic added: "It is not a good start, but I congratulate Spain on the victory. We lacked energy and aggression, and conceded the first goal from a mistake.

"The worst thing is that we conceded in first-half stoppage time from a corner. We shouldn't have allowed that, and the game was decided then.

"We will analyse what went wrong. We gave the opponent a lot of time and space, and got punished. We have two games left in the group stage. We have to turn our attentions towards them and look for two victories.

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic before the match on November 18, 2023© Reuters

Dalic explains Modric's withdrawal against Spain

"My impression was that we withstood Spain's initial pressure in the first 10-15 minutes. After that, we took control, we were better and started creating some chances. But then we conceded a goal due to our mistake and weren't able to get back into the game after that. It wasn't good."

There were question marks when Modric was replaced in the 65th minute of the match, while Mateo Kovacic was also substituted at the same time as the Real Madrid midfielder.

Dalic ruled out any injury problems, insisting that the changes were tactical calls, with the team still more than capable of advancing to the knockout round of the competition.

"We have two important matches ahead, against Albania and Italy. At that moment, we were losing 3-0 and didn't have many chances to turn it around, so I decided to take them off," added the manager.

Croatia have reached the last-16 stage of the last two European Championships, but they have never managed to progress past the quarter-finals of the competition.

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Group A

Q Germany Germany32107
Q Switzerland Switzerland31205
3 Hungary Hungary31023
4 Scotland flag Scotland30121

Group B

Q Spain Spain33009
Q Italy Italy31114
3 Croatia Croatia30212
4 Albania national flag Albania30121

Group C

Q England flag England31205
Q Denmark Denmark30303
Q Slovenia Slovenia30303
4 Serbia Serbia30212

Group D

Q Austria Austria32016
Q France France31205
Q Netherlands Netherlands31114
4 Poland Poland30121

Group E

Q Romania Romania31114
Q Belgium Belgium31114
Q Slovakia Slovakia31114
4 Ukraine Ukraine31114

Group F

Q Portugal Portugal32016
Q Turkey Turkey32016
Q Georgia Georgia31114
4 Czech Republic Czech Republic30121

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