Late Drama as Italy Secures Last-16 Spot with Draw Against Croatia

Late Drama as Italy Secures Last-16 Spot with Draw Against Croatia

Italy Secure Last-16 Spot with Dramatic Draw Against Croatia

In a nail-biting match on Monday night, Italy secured a place in the round of 16 of Euro 2024 with a thrilling 1-1 draw against Croatia. The reigning champions came from behind to grab a late equalizer, thanks to Mattia Zaccagni’s stunning strike deep into injury time.

Croatia took the lead in the second half through Luka Modric, who converted a rebound just moments after seeing his penalty saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma. The goal looked to have sent Croatia through to the knockout stage, but Italy refused to give up.

As the match entered its final minutes, Italy piled on the pressure in search of an equalizer. With just seconds remaining, Zaccagni curled a magnificent shot into the top corner to send the Italian fans into raptures and break Croatian hearts.

The result means Italy finish second in Group B with four points, behind Spain who won all three of their matches. Croatia, with two points, must now wait to see if they will progress as one of the four best third-placed teams.

Zaccagni Earns Hero Status

Mattia Zaccagni emerged as the hero for Italy with his late equalizer. The Lazio winger came off the bench in the 81st minute and made an immediate impact, creating several chances before scoring the vital goal.

Speaking after the match, Zaccagni expressed his delight at scoring the equalizer. “I’m so happy to have scored the goal,” he said. “This team has so much heart and character, and we never gave up.”

Donnarumma’s Penalty Save

Gianluigi Donnarumma was another key figure for Italy, saving Luka Modric’s penalty in the 54th minute. The save proved crucial as it kept Italy in the game and gave them hope of an equalizer.

After the match, Donnarumma praised the team’s resilience. “We showed great character today,” he said. “We knew it would be a tough game, but we stuck together and we got the result we needed.”

Modric’s Milestone

Luka Modric made history in the match by becoming the oldest player to score in a European Championship. The Croatian captain scored the opening goal at the age of 38 years and 289 days, surpassing the previous record set by Bernd Hölzenbein in 1976.

Despite the disappointment of being knocked out, Modric was proud of his team’s performance. “We gave everything we had tonight,” he said. “We didn’t deserve to lose, but that’s football. We can be proud of ourselves.”


Italy’s dramatic win over Croatia was a testament to the team’s resilience and never-say-die attitude. The defending champions will now face Switzerland in the round of 16, while Croatia must wait and hope for a favorable outcome in the other group matches.

By Divya

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