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June 24, 2024

UEFA Euro 2024: Italy qualify to Round of 16 on last-gasp goal over Croatia

Posted: Monday, June 24, 2024. 4:12 pm CST.

Mattia Zaccagni scored Italy’s qualifying goal in last play of the game against Croatia – Photo Credit: UEFA EURO 2024/Facebook

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: In one of the most dramatic finishes, Mattia Zaccagni scored a a superb goal in the dying moments of the game tying the score at 1-1 at the BVB Stadion Dortmund in Dortmund, Germany, sending defending champions Italy to the Round of 16 over Croatia in the UEFA European Championship (EURO2024).

Zaccagni scored in the last play in the eight minute of stoppage time when Croatia, leading 1-nil, had the upper hand and Italy appeared done. The goal changed the panorama as Italy moved up from three points to four and Croatia failed to seal the four points they had in the bag and ended with only two.

Luka Modrić had scored in the 55th minute, just 20 seconds after missing a penalty kick. That goal had Croatia in the driver’s seat, but with Modrić on the bench by then, they just couldn’t hold off the Italian pressing game in the last play and were sent packing.

Italy advanced in second position in Group B behind Spain who beat Albania 1-0 and qualified tops with a perfect nine points.

Italy will face Switzerland, who qualified on Sunday, on Saturday, June 29 in the knockout Round of 16.

Meanwhile, Spain will play the third-place team from either group A, D, E, or F on Sunday, June 30.

 

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