SPAIN manager Vicente del Bosque insisted he had no preference for a quarter-final opponent after La Roja overcame a classy Croatian performance to advance to the European Championship’s final eight .
Jesus Navas completed a typically superb Spanish break to secure victory but not before Croatia had threatened their supposed superiority with ambitions of their own.
Del Bosque’s side will now face the Group D runner up, to be decided this evening and certain to be either England, France or Ukraine, while Croatia will perhaps be considered unfortunate to be eliminated at this relatively early stage.
“It was a difficult game for us, we had a high percentage of possession and we proved we can control the game,” said Del Bosque. “We were fighting for a victory and have taken a step forward here by qualifying.
“The team played well, even though things didn’t go to plan. It was a very tense match, very tough. They didn’t give us much space.
“We have no preference whether it is France, England or Ukraine, we [just] have to be ready.”
Croatia had two promising penalty claims dismissed and ultimately remained dangerous until Navas’s 88th-minute goal.
For all of their dominance, Spain looked unlikely to score, however, until Cesc Fabregas broke to Andres Iniesta to square for Navas for the simplest of tap ins to secure qualification to the tournament’s final eight.