Croatia registered their first win of the tournament, defeating Scotland 3-1 in their final Euro 2020 group stage match. The result meant the Croats secured progression to the knockouts from Group D in second place behind leaders England.
Scotland knew they needed a win to progress, having lost to the Czech Republic and drawn with England in their first two Euro 2020 matches. They started brightly and came close to taking the lead early on. John McGinn’s in-swinging cross was very nearly turned in by Che Adams in the sixth minute, but went just wide.
However, it was Croatia who took the lead in the 17th minute. Josip Juranovic’s cross from the right was headed down by Ivan Perisic. The ball fell to Nikola Vlasic who turned it into the net with his left foot. The goal was a massive one for Croatia, who also needed the win. They had lost to England and drawn with the Czech Republic in their first two Euro 2020 matches.
The game would open up after the goal, with both Luka Modric and McGinn forcing good saves out of the two goalkeepers. In the 41st minute, Scotland tied things up. After some desperate defending, Croatia were only able to clear the ball as far as Callum McGregor on the edge of the box. The Celtic midfielder thumped the ball home to tie the game. Both teams went into the tunnel on level terms, knowing they needed a turnaround in the second half.
Euro 2020: Croatia score twice in the second half to seal knockouts berth
The game continued to be lively in the second half. Josko Gvardiol and McGinn were inches away from putting their respective nations into the lead early on. Eventually, Croatia took the lead for the second time on the night. In the 62nd minute, Mateo Kovacic laid the ball off for Luka Modric. The Croatian skipper showed astounding technique to steer the ball in with the outside of his right boot into the top left corner.
Croatia added another in the 77th minute when Modric's corner was flicked home by Ivan Perisic. The goal would prove vital as it sealed second place in the group for the Croatians. They advanced to the Euro 2020 knockouts along with England and the Czech Republic from Group D.
Scotland, however, were eliminated from Euro 2020 having collected just one point from their three matches.