Croatia beat Portugal ahead of Euros, Spain thrash Northern Ireland

London, June 9, (PA Media/dpa/GNA) – Luka Modric helped Croatia to a 2-1 victory over Portugal, as both teams continued their preparations for Euro 2024.

Modric scored an eighth-minute opener from the penalty spot, and after Diogo Jota drew the Euro 2016 winners level early in the second half, Ante Budimir’s strike settled the game in the 56th minute.

Romelu Lukaku netted a brace, as Belgium cruised past Luxembourg 3-0 in Brussels.

Leandro Trossard was also on hand with a driven finish into the bottom left corner at King Baudouin Stadium.

Daniel Ballard’s early goal had Northern Ireland, dreaming of an upset, but it turned into a sobering night in Mallorca as Spain ran out 5-1 winners in their final Euro 2024 tune-up.

Ballard headed Michael O’Neill’s team into a shock lead just 70 seconds in, but once Pedri had levelled from long range 10 minutes later, Spain piled on the punishment for a young Northern Ireland side.

Alvaro Morata and Fabian Ruiz scored either side of Pedri’s second to make it 4-1 before half-time. Substitute Mikel Oyarzabal added a fifth in a subdued second half, as Spanish minds, turned to their Euro 2024 opener against Croatia in a week’s time.

Barnabas Varga played his part in three goals, as Hungary comfortably beat Israel 3-0.

The 29-year-old Ferencvaros forward, scored a brace and set-up Freiburg’s Roland Sallai in Debrecen.

Denmark warmed up for their summer in Germany, by beating Norway 3-1.

Tottenham’s Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Leicester’s Jannik Vestergaard both scored to put the Danes 2-0 up after just 21 minutes against their neighbours, who did not qualify for the European Championship.

Erling Haaland struck to set up an exciting last 19 minutes, but Yussuf Poulsen added a third in the last minute.

Serbia beat Sweden 3-0 ahead of their Euro 2024 Group C meeting with Gareth Southgate’s England next week.

Saudi Pro League duo Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Aleksandar Mitrovic, both scored before Dusan Tadic netted the third after 70 minutes.

Silvan Widmer cancelled out Christoph Baumgartner’s fifth-minute goal as Switzerland and Austria drew 1-1.