Spain manager Luis Enrique hailed goalkeeper Unai Simon for his attitude to his error in Euro 2020’s victory against Croatia. Simon conceded an own goal when failed to collect Pedri’s ball back from the middle of the field which gave Croatia a lead in the Round of 16 match. But Spain rebounded, and Simon did as well, making key stops as his team marched on to lead 3-1 until Croatia scored twice late in the game to force extra time.
Alvaro Morata and Mikel Oyarzabal restored Spain’s lead, but only after the goalie once again played a crucial role, producing a great stop early on. Simon recovered from his first-half gaffe by making some crucial stops as his team advanced to the quarter-finals.
The goalkeeper’s attitude, according to the coach, demonstrated why they have trust in Unai Simon, who has been the primary choice for the national team since his debut last November.
“Unai Simon has taught everyone a lesson. After a mistake, your mistake does not matter, but your attitude after the mistake. It is a lesson for all his teammates and for all the children who want to play football,” said Luis Enrique to the reporters.
The most epic game of my career: Luis Enrique
Luis Enrique claimed the match against Croatia to be the most exciting and epic match he has witnessed in his career. He also shed light on the positives and negatives of the game and justified themselves as deserved winners.
“This is the most exciting game of the Euros so far. I don’t remember a game like it in my career. It was epic. For us, there were good things and bad things but what stands out is the team’s ability to come good in adversity. I hope we mature after this. Our biggest error was the way we handled the game in the last 10 minutes. But I think we were deserved winners,” said Luis Enrique.
Spain overcame Simon’s mistake on the verge of halftime when a Dominik Livakovic save rebounded into Pablo Sarabia’s path, and the winger blasted into the goal. Cesar Azpilicueta then scored his first goal for the national team just before the hour mark, and Ferran Torres seemed to have sealed up the victory for Spain after 77 minutes.
However, Croatia rallied in the last five minutes, with goals from Mislav Orsic and Mario Pasalic pushing the game to extra time. Spain then scored another two in the extra time’s first half to book their place in the next stage.