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Spain dominate Croatia in Euro opener, Switzerland triumph

Spain kicked off their Euro 2024 campaign with a resounding 3-0 victory over Croatia in Berlin on Saturday. Alvaro Morata opened the scoring before the half-hour mark, extending his impressive Euros goalscoring record. Fabian Ruiz and Dani Carvajal added further goals just before halftime to put Spain firmly in control of a competitive Group B.

Sixteen-year-old Spanish sensation Lamine Yamal made history as the youngest ever Euros player, while Croatia, despite starting Luka Modric, faltered to create any real chances. What could have been a late consolation for Croatia was then overturned by VAR, leaving them scoreless.

“Very happy with the win, for my [Euros] debut,” Yamal beamed in a post-match interview with Spanish broadcaster La 1. “We’ve got confidence, we’re a very efficient team and we’re showing it. We’re happy because all the work from the last few months has borne fruit.”

In Group A, Switzerland secured a convincing 3-1 victory over Hungary in Cologne. Kwadwo Duah, in just his second international appearance, opened the scoring. Michel Aebischer added a stunning long-range effort before the break. Hungary pulled one back through Barnabas Varga, but Breel Embolo ensured the win for Switzerland with a stoppage-time goal.

“I liken football to chess and today we got our tactics right. We used this formation for a particular reason,” Swiss coach Murat Yakin said of his team’s line-up which featured a back three. “We focused on making the most of our strengths and we made our opponents’ lives very hard in the first half.”

Switzerland will turn their attention to Scotland next, while Hungary face a daunting task against tournament hosts Germany, who thrashed Scotland 5-1 on Friday.

(Source: AFP)

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