MX23RW : Wednesday, August 4 15:27:20| >> :120:15203:15203:
Jun 23, 2021 at 5pm UK
SlovakiaSlovakia
0-5
SpainSpain

Duda (12'), Skriniar (90+4')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Dubravka (30' og.), Laporte (45+3'), Sarabia (56'), Torres (67'), Kucka (71' og.)
Busquets (40'), Alba (60')

Spain boss Luis Enrique admits Slovakia thrashing was a "relief"

Spain boss Luis Enrique admits Slovakia thrashing was a
© Reuters
Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka scored an own goal in the 5-0 rout.

Spain coach Luis Enrique admits the 5-0 win over Slovakia which secured progress to the last 16 of Euro 2020 was a relief.

The former Barcelona boss was under increasing scrutiny after draws in their opening two Group E matches but poor opponents and a goalkeeping howler from Newcastle's Martin Dubravka made their passage more than comfortable.

"It's a relief of course – I don't know about a liberation – but not just for me but in terms of what it means for our ability to achieve a convincing result via our style," he told his post-match press conference.

"I believe people will have plenty of complaints but I really don't think there can be any criticism of today.

"When you are a coach you know when you win you get praise, sometimes too much, and when you lose you get criticism. I think coaches know that better than anyone in the world of football.

"Now it's about celebrating and then tomorrow we will prepare for the next match. I am sure there are things we can improve."

Own goals from Dubravka and Juraj Kucka book-ended strikes from Aymeric Laporte – his first in international football – Pablo Sarabia and Ferran Torres and set up a last-16 tie with World Cup runners-up Croatia.

"Perfect for us. I am sure people would have had preferences. It's a good game; Croatia are a top team with players we know well," he added.

"It's going to be a tough match but when you get through to the last 16 you can't expect to play easy teams.

"We will now prepare for the last 16 with plenty of confidence and we are desperate for Monday to come around."

Slovakia coach Stefan Tarkovic said sorry to supporters after the defeat, which confirmed their exit from the tournament.

"I know we didn't give the fans any joy today and I'd like to apologise," he said.

"To make such mistakes against Spain is not simply acceptable and they used those mistakes – after the third goal it turned into an exhibition game for them."

However, Tarkovic refused to criticise Dubravka.

"I was really happy Martin saved that penalty and it is really unlucky for us and Martin as well to concede such an own goal, it is just bad luck," he added.

"If we were always to reproach our players they would be afraid to play. I am sure Martin will draw a lesson from this. You just have to learn from it and move on."

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Spain coach Luis Enrique pictured on June 14, 2021
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina32211669
United StatesUnited States25292276
JapanJapan2071239
AustraliaAustralia1541736
Great BritainGreat Britain14181547
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events


SKATEBOARDING
· Team GB starlet Sky Brown - aged just 13 - takes part in the women's park event and has a realistic chance of picking up a medal too. Bombette Martin is Britain's other representative, while hosts Japan are among the favourites for gold (1am)

HOCKEY
· Great Britain's women have more history in their sights heading into their semi-final against Netherlands - the team they beat in the 2016 gold medal match (2.30am)

ATHLETICS
· The men's 400m hurdles final on Tuesday will go down as one of the greatest Olympic races of all time, and the women will attempt to emulate that, with new world record holder Sydney McLaughlin of USA and Netherlands' Femke Bol the favourites for gold (3.30am)
· Nick Miller is Britain's representative in the men's hammer throw final (12.15pm)
· The men's 800m final could be a wide-open affair (1.05pm)
· A thrilling men's 200m final is in store as the likes of Andre de Grasse, Noah Lyles and 17-year-old sensation Erriyon Knighton bid to succeed Usain Bolt as Olympic champion (1.55pm)

SAILING
· After a medal-laden day on the water on Tuesday, Great Britain will be looking for more success, starting with Luke Patience and Chris Grube in the men's 470-class medal race (6.33am)
· Team GB also have medal hopes in the women's event, with defending champion Hannah Mills looking to retain her crown alongside new teammate Eilidh McIntyre (7.33am)

BOXING
· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Great Britain's Frazer Clarke faces Uzbekistan's Bakhodir Jalolov in the men's super heavyweight with a place in the gold medal bout up for grabs (7.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also guaranteed a medal, but will look to ensure that is either gold or silver as he takes on Cuba's Arlen Lopez in the light heavyweight final (7.35am)

CYCLING
· World records have been tumbling in the velodrome, and another could go in the men's team pursuit final as Italy - new world record holders themselves - face Denmark (10.06am)

EQUESTRIAN
· Three Brits have made into into the final of the men's jumping individual final, including fastest qualifier Ben Maher, who will bid to inherit compatriot Nick Skelton's Olympic crown (11am)

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