Croatia booked their spot in the knockout stages of the Euro 2020 following a 3-1 win over Scotland at Hampden Park on Tuesday. It was a must-win game for the 2018 FIFA World Cup runners-up because anything else would have meant that they would finish third in Group D and their knockout berth would depend on several other factors.
The first half of the match finished with the scores tied at 1-1 after Callum McGregor cancelled out Nikola Vlasic’s early opener for Croatia. Now, with the Croats desperately needing a goal, left-back Gvardiol after receiving the ball on the left flank, fired in a cross into the box for Petkovic, the striker after making no headway towards the goal, played the ball towards Mateo Kovacic who was just at the edge of the box. The Chelsea midfielder then rolled the ball towards Luka Modric, the 35-year-old, running on to the pass at the edge of the box, unleashed an outrageous outside the boot shot that curled into the top left-side of the goal.
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 22, 2021
The slow motion replays of the shot showed how the star Real Madrid midfield man’s angular motion of the leg helped the ball get the desired swerve to go past the Scotland goalkeeper David Turnbull.
But Ivan Perisic’s header rubbed salt into Scottish wounds 13 minutes from time as Croatia pipped the Czech Republic to second place in Group D behind England.
Along with Modric, Perisic has consistently been one of his country’s key performers at major tournaments for nearly a decade. The Inter Milan winger’s flicked header from a Modric corner dropped in off the inside of the post for his ninth goal at a World Cup or European Championship to end any hope of a Scottish revival.
This goal scored by the Ballon d’Or winner has become one of the goal of the tournament contenders along with Patrick Schik’s strike from the halfway line against the Scots, Belgium’s third goal scored by Kevin De Bruyne against Denmark and Andreas Christensen’s long-range effort against Russia.