La Roja beat the Ivory Coast 5-2 on Saturday in a thrilling match to progress to the semi-final of the Olympic Games. The game had finished 2-2 on 90 minutes, but Spain showed their quality in extra-time to score three times and pull away.
The Ivory Coast took the lead in the tenth minute through Eric Bailly. Dani Olmo then drew Spain level on the half-hour mark, before Max Gradel appeared to have nabbed it late on when he made it 2-1 in injury time.
Rafa Mir was on hand to save the day, however, and equalise again just two minutes after. Mikel Oyarzabal then scored a penalty in extra-time before Mir struck twice to complete his hat-trick and send Spain through.
Spain will face Japan next, after the host nation beat New Zealand on penalties in their quarter-final. The game will take place at noon GMT on Tuesday. They’ll pose a threat, but Luis de la Fuente has been explicit about targeting gold.
“When it went to 2-1 I thought about how unfair football was being today, with a team that was far superior about to lose,” De La Fuente said in comments post-game carried by Mundo Deportivo. “Then I regained my faith in football and today football has been fair; it’s done justice to a great team.