After a disappointing start, vice world champions Croatia advanced to the 16th round of the Pan-European Football Championship after their best tournament performance ever. The next opponent is the second in Group E (Sweden, Slovakia, Spain, Poland) in Copenhagen on Monday.
Nikola Vlasic (17th), Luka Modric (62nd) and Ivan Perisic (77th) achieved the success they deserved after a 1-0 draw against England and a 1-1 draw against the Czech Republic. In the final statement, another goal scored in all games was decisive in favor of Croatia with the same number of points than the Czechs. The Scots, who leveled only through Callum McGregor (42nd), finished last with one point and had to wait for the first knockout game in the final round.
They dominated in the first quarter of an hour and came close to the lead. Che came a little late after the Adams cross, was able to clear goalkeeper Dominic Livakovic (6th). Croatia’s 1-0 was a bit of a surprise. Perisic led a Modric cross over the five-man series, coming back into the center of the penalty area, where CSKA Moscow Legionnaire Vlasic finished safely. The 23-year-old justified his first EM appearance from the start, with he and Bruno Petkovic seeded on the offensive over the recently disappointing Ante Rebic and Josip Braclow.
Scotland, which at this time needed at least two goals for promotion, reacted quite dry for some time and again in the 24th minute in the penalty area of Vetreny (“fiery”). . One time it didn’t work out for Adams, and one time John McGinn’s shot clearly lacked pressure. Goalkeeper David Marshall, on the other hand, had to stretch before Modric’s long shot (22nd).
After half an hour, the technically superior Croatian controlled the action, but hardly made a move against the Scottish defensive. In contrast, Scotland took advantage of their only real opportunity after long before the break: two poorly cleaned balls resulted in McGregor taking 17 meters and Livakovic with his precise low shot to the left corner. Didn’t miss the chance.
Croatia also had to score again, which could be seen at the start of the second half. Joseco Guardiol touched the ball too far, when Vlasic’s ideal hole pass, Martial was there (50th). Scotland responded through McGuin, who did not hit cleanly after a cross in fives and missed the ball (59th). After about an hour came the big presence of the generally strong Modric, who took a fresh lead at the edge of the penalty area by adding several stations with an exemplary kick into the far corner.
Scotland was still struggling, but could hardly take dangerous action. McGregor and Ryan Fraser shot it well (68th), with Adams failing for Livakovic (80th). But by then everything was over. As Perisic climbed to the corner in five and crowned his performance with a precise kofler in the far corner.
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