Croatia 0-1 Spain
Jesus Navas scored a late winner as Spain beat Croatia 1-0 in Gdansk to progress to the Euro 2012 quarter-finals as Group C winners.
The current holders were frustrated for large parts of the game, but found a breakthrough in the 88th minute when substitute Navas rounded off a well-worked move to put their place in the last eight beyond doubt. Croatia bowed out of the tournament but put up a fight against the world champions and finished third in the group stages after Italy beat the Republic of Ireland 2-0 in the other group fixture. Spain struggled to find a way through an organised Croatia defence in the first half with the best chance falling to Andres Iniesta, who could not generate enough power on his shot from 12 yards to trouble Stipe Pletikosa. Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique both tried their luck from range, with Ramos' effort well saved by the keeper before Pique's strike dipped just over the crossbar. It looked as though Spain would begin to ask serious questions of Croatia, but Slaven Bilic's side were not fazed by their opponents and looked dangerous on the break. Two counter-attacks in quick succession saw Danijel Pranjic test Iker Casillas from 25 yards before Mario Mandzukic snatched at a chance inside the box, blazing over the crossbar. Mandzukic thought he should have had a penalty moments later when he was brought down by a heavy challenge from Ramos but German referee Wolfgang Stark was not interested in the Croatian protests. Bilic's men continued to frustrate Spain in the second half and their hard work almost paid off when the hour mark. Luka Modric brilliantly turned attack into defence before crossing for Ivan Rakitic, who forced a reaction save out of Casillas with a header from six yards. Vicente del Bosque replaced Spain's only striker Fernando Torres with Navas shortly afterwards, but the change failed to bring Spain to life and Croatia proceeded to create chances at the other end with Ivan Perisic slicing wide on the volley from a tight angle. The introduction of Cesc Fabregas changed the game for the Spaniards and he played a vital part in the goal. His lofted pass over the defence for Iniesta created the opportunity and the Barcelona man showed a cool head to set up Navas, who fired into an empty net from a yard out.