La Rojita retakes the defense of the European Under-21 title by facing Croatia in the quarterfinals (6pm / Four). The team led by Luis de la Fuente qualified in March for the qualifying rounds and now wants to repeat the triumph achieved in 2019.
The Spanish team arrives with little preparation for the appointment, because Jon Moncayola’s positive for coronavirus last Wednesday prevented La Rojita from preparing normally for today’s duel against the Balkan team. Even so, the setback has not altered the good atmosphere of the team, a “family” as the coach defends, determined to lift his sixth European Under-21.
Spain’s plan is clear; grow with the ball and concede little to the rival. In fact, that was precisely one of the great signs of identity in the initial phase as they did not concede a goal, chaining a total of eight games leaving their goal to zero.
The Croats reach the quarter-finals after leaving England out of their group, despite losing the last game against them and are not exactly characterized by their defensive strength as they conceded five goals in three games. Of course, Croatia has three players who will go to the Eurocup. Coach Igor Biscan agreed with senior coach Zlatko Dalic that, whatever happens, Luka Ivanusec, Domagoj Bradaric and Josko Gvardiol will join the national team after the match against Spain.
La Rojita is presented with seven new features on the list regarding the players who placed Spain in the quarterfinals as first in the group, with special mention to the reinforcement of Bryan Gil, who in the previous national team break was part of the absolute, and Antonio Blanco, incorporated at the last minute after the positive of Moncayola.
The rival in the semifinals
If they eliminate Croatia and overcome the round, Spain would face the winner of Italy-Portugal (9:00 p.m.). Also today the other two quarter-final matches will take place, the Netherlands-France (6:00 p.m.) and Denmark-Germany (9:00 p.m.).
The semifinals of this European Under-21 will be played this Thursday, June 3, while the final will be on Sunday, 6, hopefully with Spain playing the title again.
Spain: Álvaro Fernández; Óscar Gil, Guillamón, Cuenca, Miranda; Zubimendi, Gonzalo Villar; Brahim, Javi Puado, Cucurella; Abel Ruiz.
Croatia: Semper; Gvardiol, Vuskovic, Franjic, Bradaric; Ivanusec, Moro, Babec, Bistrovic; Kulenovic and Spikic.
Referee: Giorgi Kruashvili (GEO).
Stadium: Ljudski vrt in Maribor (Slovenia).