Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon endured a moment to forget as a back pass skidded over his foot to give Croatia the lead in their last 16 clash in Copenhagen. Having dominated proceedings for the opening exchanges, Spain looked the side most likely to break the deadlock before a moment of total madness…
Barcelona midfielder Pedri was being pressured with his back to goal inside his own half and fired the ball all the way back to goalkeeper Simon so Spain could regroup.
Yet to their surprise, the Athletic Club No 1 misscontrolled, allowing the ball to whiz over the top of his foot and into the empty net.
There was a mixture of distress and jubilation inside Parken Head as the Croatian fans roared with joy, while many Spain fans were pictured with their heads in their hands.
Not only had England’s Group D opponents been dominated for the opening 20 minutes but they should have also been behind after Koke spurned a glorious chance.
Simon was consoled by his team-mates including Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta. UEFA have since registered the opener as a Pedri own goal.
The 24-year-old shot-stopper has not had much to do all tournament having only conceded once against Poland.
Simon only earned his first cap for his country back in 2020 and with David de Gea and Kepa Arrizabalaga out of form, he managed to nail down the shirt under Luis Enrique.
He has become the fourth goalkeeper in European Championships history to score an own-goal at the tournament.
Crazily, all four incidences have come at this summer’s Euro 2020.
The own goal was the ninth of the tournament so far and more could yet follow before the final at Wembley.
Simon responded excellently though and showed enormous mental strength to recover as he made several huge saves.
He made an incredible stop in extra-time to keep his side level shortly before they went in front.
Spain showed resilience to come out on top as they booked their place in the quarter-finals with a 5-3 win after 120 minutes.