Spain came back from behind to beat Georgia and reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2024

Spain came back from behind to beat Georgia and reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2024

Rodri, Fabian Ruiz, Nico Williams and Dani Olmo scored as Spain beat surprise package Georgia 4-1 at Euro 2024 on Sunday to reach the quarter-finals where they will face hosts Germany. Robin Le Normand's own goal gave Georgia a surprise lead in the 18th minute of this last-16 tie, sparking outrage in Cologne for their supporters. It was the first goal Spain had conceded in the competition, but they equalised six minutes before the interval thanks to Manchester City midfielder Rodri. Ruiz then scored in the 51st minute and Williams added the third before substitute Olmo made sure of the win as La Roja remain on their way to becoming European champions for a fourth time.

Spain now face Germany in the last eight in Stuttgart on Friday, a repeat of the Euro 2008 final, which they won 1-0 to begin their golden era of dominance in international football.

Luis de la Fuente's current side are looking to bring back their glory days and are expected to beat Georgia here.

Had they converted more chances they could have ultimately won by a bigger margin, with 16-year-old winger Lamin Yamal missing several chances in his bid to become the youngest ever goalscorer at the Euros.

Georgia are ranked 74th in the world, 66 places below Spain. Willy Sagnol's side lost twice to Spain in qualifying, losing 7-1 at home and 3-1 away.

Yet they first managed to qualify for the major tournament and then reached the knockout stage with a stunning 2-0 win over Portugal.

Sagnol said on the eve of the match that his unpredictable side had “already won the European Championship” thanks to their superb performance and would now go home with their heads held high despite ultimately losing here.

They have a lively attacking partnership between Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Georges Mikoutadze, which is a threat to any opponent, and Giorgi Mamardashvili has been one of the best goalkeepers in the tournament.

Mamardashvili had already saved the ball from Pedri and blocked Dani Carvajal's header before Georgia went ahead.

The move started with a brilliant play from Kvaratskhelia, who had little space to play on the left wing but picked out a pass for Mikoutadze, who then sent Otar Kakabadze to the right wing.

Kakabadze's cross into the box was poor for Le Normand, who got in behind Kvaratskhelia and could not prevent the ball from hitting him and going into the net, scoring his eighth own goal at Euro 2024.

Spain were now vulnerable to the counter-attack, which is Georgia's strength, but the red-uniformed players continued to dominate the game and keep testing Mamardashvili.

The Valencia shot-stopper made several more interventions in a fiery contest before finally getting the equaliser, Rodri controlling Williams' pass on the edge of the box and volleying the ball into the corner.

It looked like that might be the end for Georgia but they remained courageous until halftime, with Kvaratskhelia almost scoring from inside his own half early in the second period but his shot went wide after goalkeeper Unai Simon was out of position.

Spain went ahead soon after when Yamal crossed from the right and Ruiz scored with a header at the back post for his second goal of the tournament.

Yamal not only missed their chances but also scored an own goal which was ruled out for offside after which Georgia's defence was left in shambles under persistent heavy rain.

Ruiz found Williams, who had run from inside his half, outpaced Giorgi Gvlesiani in the box and put the ball into the net to make it 3–1 in the 75th minute.

Olmo completed the scoring with seven minutes remaining with a superb control and finish from the edge of the box.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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