BORDEAUX: European champions Spain will play Italy in a repeat of the 2012 final in the knockout second round of Euro 2016 after they succumbed o a surprise 2-1 defeat to Croatia in Group D after Sergio Ramos missed a penalty.
Spain went ahead after only seven minutes when Cesc Fabregas chipped the ball over keeper Danijel Subasic and Alvaro Morata tapped in from close range.
In the second half Subasic saved a penalty from Real Madrid capain Sergio Ramos before a rapid-fire breakaway counter-attack led to Perisic scoring Croatia’s late winner to earn a tie against a third-placed qualifier.
This was Spain’s first defeat in 15 games at the European Championship since losing to Portugal in Euro 2004. They will now play Italy in Paris on Monday. Croatia will play on Saturday in Lens.
In the other Group D game the disappointing Czech Republic lost to the Turks who must wait to learn whether they can go through to the second round.
A neat finish from Burak Yilmaz put them ahead, prompting Czech pressure which saw Tomas Sivok hit the post.
Volkan Babacan made a string of saves before Ozan Tufan smashed in from 10 yards to move Turkey third in Group D.
Fatih Terim’s side and Albania in Group A are vulnerable on three points and results on Wednesday could see a host of countries in Group E and Group F end in contention for qualifying as a best third-place finisher.