Friday, 15 June 2012

Game 13: Italy 1 - Croatia 1

One of the most entertaining games of hte tournament this one. Good to see Italy sticking with their positive front line; and nice to see managers showing paitience with players in the tournament generally, even if they're not immediately firing (Balotelli, Kerzhakov, Postiga).

Pirlo buried a peach of a free kick, the first of the tournament I think and this sparked Croatia to life as a defeat would really leave them vulnerable. In the second half, Modric advanced from a deeper role to support the front two and it made all the difference, Croatia hitting back with a smartly taken goal form Mandzukic, controlling instantly, close to goal, before lashing home.

Balotelli was replaced after an hour, after having gradually become more sulky and anonymous. The result leaves the group well poised, but Croatia will regret not going for it a bit more, as they now really need a win against Spain to progress, I think.

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