Spain thrashes Northern Ireland in preparation for Euro 2024

The Spanish national team showcased their dominance with a 5-1 victory over Northern Ireland in a warm-up match for Euro 2024.

Spain thrashes Northern Ireland in preparation for Euro 2024 Embed from Getty Images

The Spanish national team defeated Northern Ireland 5-1 in one of several preparation matches for Euro 2024, which took place this Saturday in Germany.

Just two minutes into the match, Daniel Ballard caused a surprise in Palma de Mallorca by giving the visitors the lead. However, Spain quickly responded and went on a rampage in the first half, scoring four times: Pedri (12 and 29), Álvaro Morata (18), and Fabián Ruiz (35).

In the second half, Mikel Oyarzabal, who had been substituted in at the 52nd minute, closed the scoring at the 60th minute. He maintained his scoring form after netting a hat-trick against Andorra on Wednesday in La Roja's first warm-up game ahead of the European Championship.

Spain is in Group B, alongside the reigning champions Italy, Albania, and Croatia (who defeated Portugal 2-1 at Jamor this Saturday). Spain’s impressive performance in these warm-up matches highlights their readiness and potential as they prepare to face tough competition in the group stages.

In other preparation matches across Europe, Slovenia and Bulgaria played to a 1-1 draw, with Kiril Despodov putting the Bulgarians ahead from the penalty spot in the fourth minute. Ten minutes later, forward Andraz Sporar, who previously played in Portugal (Sporting and Braga), equalized, and the score remained unchanged for the rest of the match. Slovenia is in Group C, together with Denmark, England, and Serbia.

Hungary defeated Israel 3-0, with all three goals coming early in the match. Roland Sallai opened the scoring in the 12th minute, assisted by Barnabas Varga, who then scored the other two goals for Hungary in the 19th and 22nd minutes. Hungary is in Group A, with Germany, Switzerland, and Scotland.

Switzerland faced Austria (Group D, with France, the Netherlands, and Poland), and the final result was a 1-1 draw. Christoph Baumgartner gave the Austrians the lead in the fifth minute, and Silvan Widmer equalized in the 26th minute.

Sweden (one of the notable absentees from Euro 2024) was thrashed at home by Serbia (Group C), who scored three unanswered goals. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, playing in Saudi Arabia for Al-Hilal, coached by Jorge Jesus, opened the scoring in the 18th minute. In the second half, the inevitable Aleksandar Mitrovic, also playing for Al-Hilal, extended the lead in the 60th minute, and Dusan Tadic completed the scoring in the 70th minute.

Denmark (Group C) defeated Norway (which missed out on Euro 2024) 3-1, thanks to a strong start. The goals came in the 12th and 21st minutes, scored by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Jannik Vestergaard, respectively. In the second half, prolific scorer Erling Haaland pulled one back in the 72nd minute, seven minutes after having a goal disallowed for offside. In the 90th minute, Yussuf Poulsen secured the final score, confirming the Danish victory, with Alexander Bah (Benfica) and Morten Hjulmand (Sporting) in the starting lineup.

Belgium (Group E, with Romania, Slovakia, and Ukraine) defeated Luxembourg 3-0, with two goals from Romelu Lukaku (42 and 57) and one from Leandro Trossard (81).

Euro 2024 will take place in Germany from June 14 to July 14, featuring Europe’s top national teams in a highly anticipated tournament. With the group stages set, teams are finalizing their preparations and lineups, hoping to peak at the right time and contend for the coveted championship. The tournament promises to be a showcase of elite football talent and intense competition, as countries vie for the title in one of the sport's most prestigious events.

Updated: 12:01, 9 Jun 2024

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