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Zaccagni’s stoppage-time stunner sends Italy through to last 16

June 25, 2024 9:57 AM IST

Mattia Zaccagni rescued Italy with a 98th-minute equaliser as the defending champions booked their spot in Euro 2024’s last 16 on Monday (June 24) with a 1-1 draw in a tense game against Croatia, whose tournament hopes are hanging by a thread.

Luka Modric gave Croatia a 55th-minute lead, moments after missing a penalty, and that looked like sending them through before late substitute Zaccagni bent a stunning finish past the despairing dive of Dominik Livakovic into the far corner.

The result left Italy, who next face Switzerland, second in Group B on four points, with Croatia third and waiting to see whether two points will be enough to take them through to the knockout stage as one of the best four third-placed sides.

Having been subbed off by head coach Zlatko Dalic in the 80th, man of the match Modric was forced to watch on in horror as Zaccagni curled in the late equaliser that will likely eliminate Croatia from what many believed would be the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner’s last major tournament with his national team.

Despite the disappointment however, the 36-year-old suggested he still wants to carry on in the checkered jersey of Croatia for the time being, having now made 178 international appearances since his debut in 2006.

(Reuters)

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