98th-minute winner sends Italy to Euro 2024 knock-out phase

Croatia left with two points and no chance to go ahead in the tournament

In a dramatic turn of events, Mattia Zaccagni scored in the final minute of stoppage time to help Italy secure a crucial 1-1 draw against Croatia, ensuring the defending champions progress to the last 16 of Euro 2024.

Luka Modric had initially put Croatia in a commanding position, scoring a powerful shot into the roof of the net early in the second half, shortly after having his penalty saved.

Modric’s goal seemed poised to send Croatia through as runners-up in Group B, particularly after their swift response to the earlier setback. However, Italy refused to relent, and Zaccagni’s curling shot in the 98th minute delivered a heart-wrenching blow to Croatian hopes, sealing Italy’s advancement alongside group winners Spain.

This last-minute equalizer was devastating for Croatia, who were mere moments away from securing their spot in the next round. With only two points from their group matches, it is now highly unlikely that Croatia will advance as one of the best third-placed teams, making Zaccagni’s goal a particularly cruel twist in their Euro 2024 campaign.

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