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Spain Triumphs 3-0 Over Croatia in Group B Opener in Berlin

Spain secured a commanding 3-0 victory over Croatia in their first Group B match in Berlin. Alvaro Morata opened the scoring just before the half-hour mark with a brilliant finish. Fabian Ruiz played a sublime pass through the Croatian defense, and Morata, facing Dominik Livakovic, coolly slotted the ball into the bottom-left corner.

Croatia attempted an immediate response through Mateo Kovacic, whose exciting run resulted in a shot that barely troubled Unai Simon. Spain then doubled their lead with a swift move. Ruiz, turning from provider to scorer, found the bottom-right corner with a precise shot from the center of the box after receiving the ball from Pedri, who was set up by Lamal's hard work on the right flank.

Croatia nearly reduced the deficit when Marcelo Brozovic's effort was saved by Simon, and Lovro Majer could only find the side-netting on the rebound. Spain made it three before the break. From a short corner, Lamal delivered a stunning cross to the near post, where Dani Carvajal cheekily poked the ball home.

The second half saw both teams introduce fresh legs. Bruno Petkovic came on for Croatia and won a penalty. However, Simon saved the spot-kick, and Ivan Perisic's squared rebound for Petkovic was disallowed as Perisic was judged to be in the box when the penalty was taken.

Despite Croatia's notable xG of 2.48, they failed to find the net, while Spain, with an xG of 1.91, held firm to secure a clean sheet. This victory allows Spain to rotate their squad from the bench with confidence as they look ahead to their next match against Italy. Croatia will aim to bounce back when they face Albania.

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