Modric, after the almost elimination of Croatia

Modric, after the almost elimination of Croatia

▲ Although the Real Madrid midfielder scored a goal, his team is one step away from being left out of the Euro Cup. Ap Photo

Afp y Ap

La Jornada Newspaper
Tuesday, June 25, 2024, p. a10

Leipzig. Football yesterday was very cruel. It always was for the defeated, those who give body and face to disenchantment, like Luka Modric, the Croatian star, who expressed it emphatically. He couldn’t say it any other way when, despite being the scorer of the goal for his team, he also missed a penalty that perhaps would have prevented a 1-1 draw against Italy that leaves the Balkan team with little chance of advancing to the round of 16. final in the Euro 2024. A tie that the Azzurra also achieved in stoppage time with eight minutes that the referee granted them.

Modric, recognized as the best player of the match, cried as only those who taste the gall of pain know how to do.

We fought until the end, but unfortunately football was merciless with us tonight. It has been cruel, declared the Real Madrid midfielder.

It’s hard to find the words to describe how you feel when you lose like this, he added.

Modric’s goal at 55 minutes seemed to give him the victory and the pass to Croatia; He scored it 33 seconds after Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma saved a penalty, becoming at 38 years old the oldest player to score in the history of the tournament.

But football is cruel to some and in the last action of the match (90+8), Mattia Zaccagni achieved the tie with a tight shot to leave Italy in second position and classified.

After this tie, Croatia is third with only two points behind the leader Spain (9) and Italy (4). The four best third-placed teams advance to the round of 16 of the Euro Cup, but with only two points the Croatians have very few chances to be one of them.

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic was upset by the large amount of added time after a tough and fighting performance by his team.

“You can’t have eight minutes of added time after that game, it’s nonsense,” Dalic said. There weren’t that many interruptions or that many fouls to justify that. I don’t want to cause a scandal, but I think Croatia needs to be recognized and respected. We played for almost three hours.

Italy needed a point to advance. Croatia, on the other hand, needed to win, no matter what, to stay alive.

Dalic did not mention the possibility of waiting for results to see if they could advance as a third place, in a clear sign that he already considers his team eliminated.

Italy will face Switzerland in the round of 16 on Saturday at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, where the final will be on July 14.

We were a little soft in the match, and we did not play our best level of play, said the Italian coach, Luciano Spalletti.

When you have the luxury of tying, that’s how it works, you know that a draw is enough and you are a little more timid, he concluded.

In the other match of the day, Spain changed almost its entire lineup and maintained its perfect pace in the Euro Cup by beating Albania 1-0, which was eliminated.

With his place already secured by winning Group B, Spanish coach Luis de la Fuente made 10 changes to his starting lineup.

Spain won all three group matches at a European Championship for the first time since 2008, when it won the tournament.

A goal from Ferran Torres in the 13th minute was enough to secure the three points and goalkeeper David Raya’s stoppage-time save against Armando Broja allowed Spain to complete the first phase of the tournament without conceding a goal.

2024-06-25 08:51:27
#Modric #elimination #Croatia

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