'Inexplicable': Keeper's redemption after 'bizarre' act at Euro 2020

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Unai Simon (pictured right) devastated after letting the ball past him, resulting in an own goal (pictured left).
Spain star Pedri scored an own goal after Unai Simon (pictured right) let the ball past him to roll into the net at Euro 2020. (Getty Images)

Spain might have advanced in an absolute thriller against Croatia in a remarkable Euro 2020 games, but goalkeeper Unai Simon went from villain to hero after a horrendous own goal.

Football fans witnessed absolute chaos across two matches at Euro 2020 after Spain defeated Croatia and Switzerland produced the shock of the tournament to knockout France.

The Euro 2020 tournament has seen nine own goals with the Round of 16 yet to be finished, which is the same amount of own goals (hitherto Euro 2020) in the tournament's history.

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But the worst of the lot occurred during Spain's thriller over Croatia.

In the 19th minute as the game was balanced at 0-0, Spain star Pedri passed the ball back 49 yards to the keeper.

But in a 'bizarre' moment, Simon let the ball roll past him and into the net.

The own goal was officially awarded to Pedro, because he was the last player to touch the ball, and was the longest own goal ever in the tournament's history.

But fans were quick to point out the 'inexplicable' mistake from Simon.

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Despite his mistake, Simon went on to make two crucial saves in extra-time and finished as a hero in the eyes of Spain's fans.

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Spain defeat Croatia in Euro 2020 thriller

Alvaro Morata answered his critics in the best possible manner with a crucial extra-time goal as Spain triumphed 5-3 over Croatia in a classic Euro 2020 last 16 encounter.

Morata, on loan at Juventus, had received substantial abuse and threats on social media for his attacking performances as Spain struggled to impose themselves on the competition.

But he coolly collected Dani Olmo's deep cross in the 100th minute on Monday to lash a high shot into the net to tilt the tie in Spain's favour and Mikel Oyarzabal settled matters just three minutes later.

Spain's forward Alvaro Morata (pictured) celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal during the UEFA EURO 2020 Round of 16 football match between Croatia and Spain at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen on June 28, 2021.
Spain's forward Alvaro Morata (pictured) celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal during the UEFA EURO 2020 Round of 16 football match between Croatia and Spain at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen on June 28, 2021. (Photo by STUART FRANKLIN / POOL / AFP)

Spain had been comfortably on course for victory in regulation as goals from Pablo Sarabia, Cesar Azpilicueta and Ferran Torres overturned a comical long-distance own goal from teen sensation Pedri, which had given Croatia the lead.

Mislav Orsic scrambled a second for Croatia in 85 and then crossed for Mario Pasalic to head a 92nd minute equalizer for 3-3 which forced extra-time.

Spain keeper Simon atoned saved two stunners from Andrej Kramaric but Morata and Oyarzabal made no mistake to earn the three-time continental champions a date with the later winner of France v Switzerland in Friday's St Petersburg quarter-final.

with AAP

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