Italy 1 Croatia 1 – Mandzukic cancels out Pirlo’s stunning opener

Group C looks set to go down to the wire after Croatia scored a late equaliser against Italy after Andrea Pirlo had given the Azzurri a first-half lead following an expertly-taken free kick.

Italy 1 Croatia 1 – Mandzukic cancels out Pirlo’s stunning opener

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June 14th, 2012

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A draw was the right result in Poznan, with the Italians dominating the first half but paying the price for trying to hang on to their 1-0 lead and Mandzukic was on hand to score an equaliser which means he is joint top scorer for the tournament.

The Wolfsburg striker came into this tournament with a modest international record for Croatia although he made no mistake from close range after Strinic hit a long cross towards the far post and Chiellini was unable to deal with the danger.

Previously to this, Italy created enough to win the match but all they had to show for their invention was the goal scored from a free-kick when Pirlo produced a magical touch to send the ball over the wall and into the bottom corner of the net.

Antonio Cassano and Mario Balotelli once again drew a blank despite some lively play in attack from the duo, while Emanuele Giaccherini was twice denied by Stipe Pletikosa in the first half when clean through on goal.

The result leaves Spain with a chance to go level on points with Croatia if they beat Ireland before the Spanish and Croatians meet in the final game.

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