Modric's Croatia beats Portugal 2-1 in Euro warmup while Ronaldo rests. Spain routs N. Ireland


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In preparation for the European Championship, Croatia defeated Portugal 2-1 with a goal from Luka Modric via a penalty kick. Additionally, Spain had a triumphant victory against Northern Ireland.

Spain and Croatia played their final friendly games before commencing the tournament where they will face each other on June 15 in Berlin. Both teams are grouped together with Italy and Albania in a difficult Group B.

Spain improved their attack strategy greatly as they defeated Northern Ireland with an impressive 5-1 score. Pedri González stood out as the star of the match, scoring his first two goals for his country.

Before starting their competition against the Czech Republic on June 18th in Leipzig, Portugal has got one more friendly match ahead; they will play against Ireland on Tuesday. The group F also includes Turkey and Georgia, but Portugal is considered as the top pick.

Coach Roberto Martínez chose Gonçalo Ramos to lead the attack for Portugal, instead of Cristiano Ronaldo who remained on the bench throughout the game.

After wrapping up his club season with Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia, Ronaldo linked up with the Portuguese national team on Friday. The 39-year-old striker is gearing up to compete in his sixth European Championship, which will break a record. As the highest-scoring player in men's soccer with 128 goals, Ronaldo played a crucial role in Portugal's victorious campaign at the 2016 European Championship.

In the eighth minute of the match near Lisbon's National Stadium, Modric managed to score the first goal by beating goalkeeper Diogo Costa. The midfielder from Real Madrid, who is currently 38 years old, was granted a penalty kick after Vitinha committed an offense against Mateo Kovacic within the area.

During the halftime break, the hosts brought in new players Diogo Jota and Nelson Semedo. Together, they worked together to score a goal and tie the game in the 48th minute. Semedo helped Jota score by passing the ball to him and he easily tapped it in.

In the 56th minute of the game, Ante Budimir managed to put Croatia back in the lead. He used his head to score a goal after a shot by Mario Pašalić was rebounded by the Osasuna striker. The strike was a great save by Costa, but unfortunately, it hit the crossbar first.

Costa stopped Nikola Vlašić twice to prevent Portugal from suffering a more significant loss.

In the 54th minute, Modric was replaced on the field. His current agreement with Madrid is set to conclude at the end of the month after experiencing a season where he wasn't a permanent starter in Carlo Ancelotti’s team. However, the former Ballon d’Or recipient appeared to imply that he plans to stay with the Spanish club. During the festivities in honor of winning their 15th Champions League title, Modric addressed the fans and said he would see them "next season."

The beginning of Euro 2024 is set to take place this Friday as Germany, the host nation, takes on Scotland.

In Mallorca, Daniel Ballard from Northern Ireland surprised Spain by scoring a header only two minutes into the game. However, Luis de la Fuente's squad proved too strong for their underdog opponent and ultimately overpowered them.

In his 20th game representing Spain, Pedri excitedly obtained his first two goals during the first half. Being only 21 years old and coming from Barcelona, he played an important role in Spain's journey to the semifinals in the Euro 2021. Unfortunately, due to an injury, he had to sit out during the 2022 World Cup until his recent reappearance in Wednesday's match against Andorra, which Spain won 5-0.

Alvaro Morata, Fabian Ruiz, and Mikel Oyarzabal all contributed to scoring goals in the game against Andorra. Each of them managed to put in one goal.

Belgium defeated Luxembourg 3-0 with two goals from Romelu Lukaku and a third from Leandro Trossard from Arsenal.

It is predicted that Belgium will progress from the Group E, which comprises Ukraine, Slovakia, and Romania.

Serbia achieved a convincing 3-0 victory over Sweden after Sergej Milinković-Savić, Aleksandar Mitrović and Dušan Tadić scored goals.

On June 16, Group C will commence with the teams of England and Serbia. The said group also comprises Denmark and Slovenia.

Denmark defeated Norway 3-1, and Erling Haaland managed to score the only goal for the losing team. The Danes, on the other hand, scored three goals with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Jannik Vestergaard, and Yussuf Poulsen finding the back of the net.

Slovenia's goalkeeper, Jan Oblak, came to the rescue in the final moments of the match to secure a 1-1 tie against Bulgaria.

In the game between Switzerland and Austria, the score ended in a draw of 1-1. Silvan Widmer managed to equalize for the Swiss team after Christoph Baumgartner scored an early goal.

A match will take place between Austria and France in their first round on June 17th. Both teams are placed in Group D alongside the Netherlands and Poland.

Switzerland has been placed in Group A along with Germany, Scotland, and Hungary. Hungary managed to secure a win against Israel with the help of Barnabás Varga's two goals, resulting in a 3-0 victory.

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