SPAIN MARCH ON AT EUROS

Posted on: Tue 19 Jun 2012

Fernando Torres played just over an hour for Spain as they booked a place in the quarter-finals of the European Championships with a 1-0 win over Croatia.

The Blues striker, fresh from scoring two goals in the 4-0 win over Republic of Ireland last Thursday, was given the nod to lead the line for the holders but, in what was a cagey affair, clear-cut opportunities proved hard to come by, and he was replaced by the eventual matchwinner, Sevilla's Jesus Navas.

Ivan Ratikic had spurned the best chance of the game midway through the second half for Croatia when he headed straight at Iker Casillas after some excellent build-up play by Luka Modric, while at the other end Andres Iniesta forced a smart save from Stipe Pletikosa late in the game.

Navas, who had impressed after coming on, scored the winner three minutes from time when he rolled the ball into an empty net following good work from Cesc Fabregas and Iniesta.

Juan Mata was an unused substitute for the third successive game.

Italy were the other qualifiers from Group C after they beat Republic of Ireland 2-0 courtesy of goals from Antonio Cassano and Mario Balotelli.