Euro 2024: Italy vs Croatia Match Report | Zaccagni’s Late Goal Seals Drama

Croatia Players Sad after Draw against Itlay

Electrifying Euro 2024 group stage clash, Italy secured a place in the last 16 with a dramatic 1-1 draw against Croatia. Mattia Zaccagni’s stunning 98th-minute equalizer shattered Croatian dreams, leaving their qualification hopes hanging by thread. The match, held in Leipzig, saw Italy finish second in Group B behind Spain, while Croatia faces a nail-biting wait for results to determine their fate.

Modric’s Magic and Heartbreak

Luka Modric, the evergreen Croatian captain, opened the scoring in the second half, seemingly steering his team towards the knockout stages. After missing a penalty saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma, the 38-year-old midfielder pounced on a rebound to net his 23rd international goal. His emotional celebration and the standing ovation from Croatian fans highlighted what could be his swan song in major tournaments.

Italian Persistence Pays Off

Italy, desperate to avoid an early exit, threw everything forward in the dying minutes. Gianluigi Donnarumma’s crucial save from Modric’s spot-kick and missed opportunities from Alessandro Bastoni and Gianluca Scamacca added to the tension. It was substitute Mattia Zaccagni who turned the tide, curling a right-footed shot inside the far post after a brilliant assist from Riccardo Calafiori.

Implications for Croatia

With just two points from their group matches, Croatia’s path to the knockouts is still being determined. They now rely on a series of favorable results, including England needing to beat Slovenia by at least three goals, to qualify as one of the best third-placed teams. Modric’s 178th cap, potentially his last, was marked by brilliance and heartbreak, leaving Croatian fans and players alike in suspense.

Italy’s last-16 tie against Switzerland in Berlin promises to be another exciting encounter as they look to build on this momentum. For Croatia, the wait continues, and the prospect of an early exit looms large unless fortune favors them in the remaining group matches.

Key Moments

  • Modric’s Opener: Luka Modric scored from close range after missing a penalty, giving Croatia hope.
  • Donnarumma’s Heroics: The Italian goalkeeper’s save from Modric’s penalty kept Italy in the game.
  • Zaccagni’s Equalizer: In the 98th minute, Mattia Zaccagni’s exquisite finish secured Italy’s progression.

Group B Standings

Pos.TeamGroup StageForm
1Spain330059W         W         W
2Italy311104W          L          D
3Croatia3021-32L           D          D
4Albania3012-21L           D          L

3rd Place Ranking

Pos.TeamGroup StageForm
1Austria210113L                         W
2Slovakia210103W         L
3Hungary3102-33L           L           W
4Slovenia202002D                        D
5Croatia3021-32L          D            D
6Czech Rep2011-11L                        D