Final Time: Italy 1-1 Croatia
Croatia steals two points away from Italy after they were able to possess great comeback supported by Mandzukic’s goal at mid period of second half.
The only goal on the half came from Italy. Italy ruled the first half dominating the possession and leading from Pirlo’s free kick that was converted into a goal.
Balotelli started very early in the game when he struck first in the three minutes from kick off. He gathered the balled, turned it and tried a great effort which did not miss the post by much. The Manchester City striker was very effective through the half, running for the ball and trying to create best for his teammates. He was effective through the first half and the moment he collected Cassano pass and made power shot, the ball would have netted nevertheless there was Pletikosa who got it stopped only because the ball did not got an angle. The pace and height was superb but the only problem was placement as the ball went straight to the keeper’s hand.
Croatia did not create many situations excluding some on which Mandzukic and Jelavic were furious to score and made Buffon to work hard for saves.
The first half got no other goal after Pirlo scored in the 39′ minute on a 50 yard free kick. He delivered the ball which just crossed the crossbar and landed right bottom towards the keeper who was helpless not to save in-spite of his fingers on the ball.
First half settled 1-0 with a solo goal from Italian playmaker Pirlo.
Croatians came stronger in the second half. They looked much more offensive and tried comparatively more shots than that of the first half. Without any doubt , Croatia found the result of their continuous attack in 72′ when Mandzukic was able to collect long ball and keep it passed Buffon to find a crucial equalizer. His shot touched the side bar and kissed the nets.
Italy looked struggling to catch the fluency they had in the first half. With loss in fluency, they were compelled to share points with Croatia on a match on which they would have got full 3 points in case they were able to hold their nerve for some more time.
Both Italy and Croatia had 5 attacks on target with Italy dominating the possession in the first half and letting it equalize on the second half when the possession went down to Italy 51-49 Croatia at the end of the match.
Croatia are now with four points winning a game against Ireland and drawn to Italy while Italy settled two draws which came against Spain and Croatia.