Just when the things were looking to get worse, both Spain and Croatia, managed to turn things around on the last day of their league matches.
While Spain handed a 5-0 drubbing to Slovakia in Seville, Croatia were equally impressive in their 3-1 win over Scotland in Glasgow.
The two sides have produced many dramatic encounters and meet for the first time in a tournament’s knockout stage at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen.
The winner of this tie will go on to face the winner of France-Switzerland tie in the first quarterfinal in St Petersburg, Russia, on July 2.
Spain defeated Croatia 2-1 in the Euro 2016 group stage and then drubbed Croatia 6-0 in the UEFA Nations League in 2018. Spain then lost 3-2 away from home.
Even before the start of the match Croatia suffered a setback with their forward Ivan Perisic testing positive for the coronavirus. He will miss the match against Spain and will have to self-isolate for 10 days. The rest of the squad and coaching staff tested negative.
Croatia had returned home from Glasgow and will fly to Copenhagen on Sunday to face Spain.
Road to Round of 16
Croatia started with a 0-1 loss to England and drew 1-1 with Czech Republic. Needing a win in their last league match, Croatia were well-served by their star player Luka Mordic. Croatia won 3-1 and qualified for last 16 as the second placed side.
Spain on the other hand played a goalless draw against Sweden and followed it up with a 1-1 draw against Poland. In the last match with an early exit threatening, Spain brought about their magic winning 5-0 against Slovakia.
~ Spain since winning Euro 2012 have been eliminated in last two of their major tournaments i.e. both World Cup and Euros.
~ For Croatia this is the fourth time out of six appearances that they have made it to knockouts of this event.
~ Ivan Perisic has scored four goals and provided two assists in his last five appearances for Croatia
~ Luka Modric at the age of 35 years and 286 days became the oldest player to score for Croatia. He is already the youngest to score for his country.
~ Spain and Germany/ West Germany are the most successful Euro sides having won the trophy thrice. Spain won in 1964, 2008 and 2012
Match and telecast details
Match: Euro 2020, round of 16 match between Croatia and Spain
Date: June 28 (Monday), 2021
Time: 9:30 PM IST
Venue: Parken Stadium - Copenhagen
TV Channels: Sony Sports Network (SONY TEN 2, SONY TEN 3, SONY SIX and SONY TEN 4)
Live Streaming: SonyLIV
Head-to-Head: The two sides have met eight times with Spain winning in four, while Croatia has won three. One match has ended in draw.
Spain: Unai Simon; Cesar Azpilicueta/Marcos Llorente, Eric Garcia, Aymeric Laporte, Jordi Alba; Koke, Sergio Busquets, Pedri; Gerard Moreno, Alvaro Morata, Pablo Sarabia
Croatia: Dominik Livakovic; Josip Juranovic/ Sime Vrsaljko; Somagoj Vida, Duje Caleta-Car, Jasko Gvardiol; Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic, Mateo Kovacic; Nikola Vlasic; Bruno Petkovic, Ante Rebic