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Football European Championship

Croatia And Albania Share Spoils In Thrilling 2-2 Draw

  • June 19, 2024
  • 2 min read
Croatia And Albania Share Spoils In Thrilling 2-2 Draw

Croatia and Albania battled to a dramatic 2-2 draw in their first-ever meeting at the Euros, leaving both sides winless after two matches.

Hoping to bounce back from a heavy defeat to Spain, Croatia faced an Albania side high on confidence after a spirited showing against Italy. Albania mirrored their attacking intent from that game, grabbing an early lead through Qazim Laci’s header in the 11th minute. This marked another dream start for the tournament newcomers, who were only participating in their second Euros.

Croatia responded with urgency but lacked fluency in attack, failing to register a shot on target in the first 20 minutes. Their attacking intent left them vulnerable at the back, with Kristjan Asllani nearly doubling Albania’s lead before halftime.

The second half saw tactical changes by Croatia, introducing Mario Pasalic and Lovro Majer to bolster their attack. The substitutions paid off as Croatia pressed relentlessly, finally finding the equalizer through Andrej Kramaric in the 74th minute.

Just two minutes later, a defensive lapse gifted Croatia the lead. Klaus Gjasula inadvertently turned the ball into his own net. This quick turnaround showcased Croatia’s fightback compared to their earlier performance.

However, the drama wasn’t over. In the dying seconds of the game (95th minute), Gjasula redeemed himself with a stunning finish, snatching a crucial point for Albania.

While Croatia will rue their missed opportunity to secure the win, Albania can take heart from outscoring their entire previous Euros campaign (1 goal) in just two games. This thrilling encounter showcased the determination and character of both teams as they navigate the Euros.

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Nkanyiso Mchunu

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