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Suddenly there are a lot of heavyweights on one side of the draw for the Euro 2016 knockout stages

Spain’s defeat to Croatia and England’s draw with Slovakia has shaken things up.

Andres Iniesta and Giorgio Chiellini are set to face off next Monday in Saint-Denis.
Andres Iniesta and Giorgio Chiellini are set to face off next Monday in Saint-Denis.
Image: Gero Breloer

IVAN PERISIC FIRED home an 87th minute goal in Bordeaux last night that prompted huge scenes of celebration for Croatian players and supporters.

It clinched a famous 2-1 win for Croatia over reigning champions Spain but coupled with England’s failure to defeat Slovakia on Monday night, it now means that there’s a lot of football heavyweights on one side of the draw for the Euro 2016 knockout stages.

The defeat for Spain means that they face a last 16 tie against Italy next Monday in Paris in a repeat of the Euro 2012 final and the winners of that are potentially on course for a quarter-final draw with Germany.

On the same side of the draw, England could end up playing Portugal in their last sixteen tie and France are then potential opponents at the last eight stage.

In contrast the top half of the draw now looks like a huge opportunity for a team like Croatia – tipped as dark horses at the outset of the competition – to progress further.

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Portugal and Belgium may yet be thrown into the mix here, depending on the outcome of the final games today in Group E and F.

But ultimately the path to success in Saint-Denis on 10 July is now looking a lot more difficult for Roy Hodgson, Didier Deschamps, Vincent Del Bosque, Antonio Conte and Joachim Low.

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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