Spain: Unai Simon's nightmare error allows Croatia to take the lead in Euro 2020 clash

  • Kobe Tong

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Spain vs Croatia leapt into life in the craziest way imaginable on Monday night.

Croatia vs Spain

You'd be forgiven for thinking that the all-star Euro 2020 clash in the round of 16 would be one that was defined by intricate passing, midfield majesty and technical brilliance.

But alas, for all of Spain's quality in the centre of the park and Luka Modric's metronomic passing, it was one of the strangest own goals we've ever seen that got the party started in Copenhagen.

That's because Unai Simon, who has been selected as Spain's number one goalkeeper ahead of David de Gea for this summer's tournament, produced a terrible error to gift Croatia the lead.

Croatia vs Spain match reaction | Euro 2020 (Football Terrace)

Simon drops Euro 2020 clanger

The Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper inexplicably failed to control a back pass from Barcelona's Pedri, ultimately allowing the ball to skip past him and into his vacant net at the Parken Stadium.

It really was the sort of howler that reminded fans of Paul Robinson's back-pass nightmare for England as well as Peter Enckelman's infamous inability to deal with a Premier League throw-in.

However, make no mistake that the magnitude of the occasion will mean that Simon's error will also be remembered in the annuls of top-level football, so be sure to check it out down below:

Oh, Unai, what went wrong?

A killer bobble for Simon

You can just tell from the footage that Simon was already picturing where his pass was going to land when the slightest of bounces meant that the ball bounced over his foot and rapidly towards goal.

And by the time that Simon failed to get a substantial touch on the ball, there was no stopping it from giving Croatia the lead with Pedri having put so much power behind the original delivery.


Euro 2020: News, Groups, Fixtures, Dates, Tickets, Odds And Everything You Need To Know

The only saving grace for Las Rojas was that such a wretched bout of misfortune came within the opening exchanges of the game with 70 minutes still available to them to find an equaliser.

For the neutrals, it certainly threw an interesting cat amongst the pigeons with Spain being tipped as favourites to progress to the quarter-finals, but it certainly will have caught Luis Enrique off guard.

Whether or not they recover from such a crushing blow depends on whether the Spain that thrashed Slovakia turns up or the one that drew with Sweden and Poland creeps in when it matters most...

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