Croatia 1-1 Italy: Last minute Zaccagni heroic earn knockout spot

Last Updated on 25/06/2024 by

Italy, the reigning European champions, were able to sneak into the round of 16 of the Euro 2024 in a dramatic way after 1-1 score.

Luciano Spalletti’s Italy failed to show up, and they were on the verge of being usurped by a strike that would go down in history thanks to Luka Modric. All they needed to do was avoid losing in order to finish second in the section and join Spain, who defeated Albania by a score of 1-0, in the knockout rounds.

croatia vs italy

However, with the very last attack of the game, the Italians eventually made their unrelenting pressure pay, as Mattia Zaccagni stroked home a magnificent equaliser mere seconds before Danny Makkelie’s whistle sounded for the final time.

Italy, who finished in second place in the 2018 World Cup, and Croatia, who finished in third place with just two points, both sets of players slumped onto the ground at the end of the match. Italy’s players were overcome with elation, and Croatia’s players were overcome with anguish.

That scenario only occurs if Slovenia fails to score more than once; otherwise, the Chequered Ones would need a four-goal victory over the Three Lions in order to advance to the knockout rounds. As a result, Croatia’s only limited chance of advancing to the knockout rounds will be if Slovenia loses to England by three goals on Tuesday night.

After receiving public criticism from his manager for his on-field application, Gianluca Scamacca was replaced by Mateo Retegui at the tip of the Azzurri attack. Mateo Retegui received very little exposure to the ball throughout the first few exchanges of the match.

In point of fact, Zlatko Dalic’s team immediately took possession of the ball and forced Gianluigi Donnarumma to take the first significant action with only five minutes remaining. Luka Sucic hit the goalie with a long-range shot, which caused the goalkeeper’s hands to sting.

The Chequered Ones, on the other hand, were defending extremely tightly and were facing a bombardment of crosses from a resurgent Italy team as the half drew on. Clear-cut chances were otherwise proving difficult to come by for the Chequered Ones.

A stunning cross from Nicolo Barella in the 27th minute should have led to the game’s opening goal. The Inter Milan maestro kept the ball alive following a corner and found Nerazzurri teammate Alessandro Bastoni. However, during the majority of the match, Dalic’s team was able to handle Italy’s poor deliveries to a comfortable degree.

The center defender was completely unmarked and had plenty of time to choose his position either side of Dominik Livakovic; however, his header was far too central, and the goalkeeper for Croatia made a fantastic save to tip the ball over the top.

The number one goalkeeper for Croatia was earning his stars in the first half of the match. He also stopped a low drive from Lorenzo Pellegrini in the 36th minute, which was headed for the far corner of the net. Other than that, there was not much to get excited about for either team in the first half of the match.

Both managers made a single change at halftime in response to the lackluster performance of their teams in the first half. Davide Frattesi replaced Pellegrini, while Mario Pasalic was replaced by Ante Budimir. It was Croatia’s change that proved to be the most successful in achieving the desired outcome.

The outstretched arm of Frattesi was struck by a strike from Andrej Kramaric seven minutes into the second session. Danny Makkelie pointed to the spot after a brief check of the monitor.

When the Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper dove to his left and stopped Modric’s feeble spot kick attempt, Croatia continued to attack, and when Donnarumma made another outstanding close-range save to deny Budimir, none other than Modric himself was there to fire in the rebound for an instant slice of redemption and history.

Despite the fact that Modric is 38 years and 289 days old, he has become the oldest man to ever score in a European Championships. However, this record will only be valid for as long as Cristiano Ronaldo remains scoreless in Germany.

Modric’s rifled finish into the roof of the net provoked an instantaneous response from Spalletti’s crop, who ought to have drew themselves level in the 62nd minute but for another squandered set-piece; Bastoni was the offender once more, headed a near-post delivery over the top. Modric’s goal was the perfect example of how Spalletti’s crop could have responded.

An enormous worry occurred in the 87th minute, when Josip Stanisic did just about enough to prevent substitute Scamacca from latching onto a Federico Chiesa ball across the six-yard box. Croatia was with their backs against the wall as far as the final stages were concerned, and they were able to survive the situation.

Riccardo Calafiori laid off Zaccagni on the left side of the field, and the Italy player’s stunning first-time curler rippled the top corner to inspire Azzurri euphoria. Italy was rewarded with eight minutes of injury time to pick the Croatian lock, and just as it appeared that Dalic’s men would hold out, the Croatian lock was picked by Italy.


Spain 1-0 Italy: Spain secure place in last-16 with a narrow win

Denmark 1-1 England: Wasteful England missed a chance to secure last-16

Slovenia 1-1 Serbia: Late Jovic heroic secure a point for Serbia

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