A strange blunder by the goalkeeper helped Spain find its result in the European Championship.
And that also helped them qualify for the quarterfinals.
An embarrassing own goal by goalkeeper Martin Dubravka in the first half put Spain on the road to a 5-0 victory on Wednesday, which came just minutes after the hosts missed another penalty kick and squandered more goal chances.
Dubravka saved this early penalty from Alvaro Morata, but then clumsily kicked the ball into his own net after it bounced high in the air when Pablo Sarabia hit in the 30th minute.
Dubravka stood right next to his line and waited for the ball to come down. He jumped to kill him for a corner, but the ball swerved to the left and rolled from his right hand into the net.
Empty, he stood by the goal line when some of his teammates came to support him.
Aymeric Laporte added Spain’s lead before halftime, and Sarabia, Ferran Torres and another own goal in the second half scored five for La Roja, who faced elimination in front of their own fans.
The victory allowed Spain to continue in second place in Group E with five points, two less than Sweden, which beat Poland 3-2 in the other match. The result eliminated Slovakia, which needed at least a draw to secure its place in the next round.
Slovakia, which reached the 16th at Euro 2016 in France, won their first match this year with an own goal by Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.
After Dubravka’s own goal, Laporte added to the lead of Spain with a header in the injury in the first half after a good accumulation, which began with a neat pass from the teenager Pedri Gonzalez to Moreno.
Sarabia got their goal from inside the zone after a cross by Jordi Alba in the 56th, and Torres increased the lead with a nice kick on the back heel close in the 67th.
An own goal by Juraj Kutska, who found his net while trying to clear a shot at Pou Torres, ended the defeat at La Cartoucha Stadium. This was the biggest margin of victory at the European Championship since Sweden beat Bulgaria 5-0 in 2004. No team has ever won more than five at the European Championship.
Slovakia finished without attempting to reach the goal.
Luis Enrique made four changes to the 1-1 draw from Poland, bringing in veterans Sergio Busquets, Cesar Aspilicueta and Sarabia, in addition to Eric Garcia in defense.
Busquets, the man who voted for the match, joined the team after being isolated after a positive coronavirus test before the tournament.