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Spain sends Croatia packing; after a hard time nonetheless

The La Roja have now qualified for the Euro 2012 quarter-finals after a 1-0 win against Croatia at the PGE Arena Gdansk on Monday.

With the game seemingly destined to be a draw (as observed by most spectators), substitute Jesus Navas walked the ball into the net with two minutes remaining, thereby confirming Croatia’s exit from this year’s conference.

The defending champions now move forward to the last eight as the winners of Group C, where they will face France, England or Ukraine, depending on the results of upcoming games.

Spain top man Vicente del Bosque was obviously relieved after the game. The veteran manager praised his team's performance against a somewhat stubborn Team Croatia, and praised his substitutes for their important role.

"It was a very tough match," Del Bosque told Telecinco. "They [Croatia] played well defensively and gave us no space.

"Cesc Frabregas got into the game to gave us some fresh oxygen, and Navas provided more for us in attack."

Spain’s big boss also dismissed the speculation regarding the possible 2-2 draw that would have sent Italy out, without having the chance to fight for survival.

"We've take off our back all of this mess about the draw. It was more a weight to deal with than an advantage," the 61-year-old added.

"The result would have been good for us, but maybe this [draw prediction] made us a bit confused."

Jesus Navas is glad of the victory, saying that this confirms there is no collusion between the two teams against the Italians. He stated that the idea had never was considered by any of the players due to their hunger for glory.

"We, the players, want to to win everything, we always want the victory," Navas told Telecinco. "We look for that because of what we've achieved, and what we want to win [in the future]."

"It was a tough game," he continued. "Croatia had plenty to play for in this match and they played defensively."

Having topped Group C, Spain will now have to wait until the culmination of Group D on Tuesday night to find out who their quarter-final opponents will be.

Andres Iniesta conceded that the match was a “very difficult” one.

He told reporters: "Yes, we suffered. It was a tough and very difficult game for us. It's the kind of games where you are close... but not. And that is dangerous.

"We are not machines. We've have said that Croatia have got young and very talented players. We had an important physical wear to resolve the game."

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