EURO 2012 LIVE: Italy vs. Croatia

Associated Press
Croatia's Mario Mandzukic scores a goal during the Euro 2012 soccer championship Group C match between Italy and Croatia in Poznan, Poland, Thursday, June 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
.

View gallery

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Italy draws 1-1 with Croatia in Poznan, Poland in their second Group C match at the European Championship. Next, defending champion Spain plays Ireland in Gdansk.

Here is a running account of Thursday's action. All times are local to Poland.

___

2005: We'll turn our attention to the Spain vs. Ireland match in Gdansk now. Here are the lineups:

Spain: Casillas, Arbeloa, Ramos, Pique, Alba, Busquets, Alonso, Silva, Xavi, Iniesta, Torres. Substitutes: Valdes, Reina, Albiol, Martinez, Juanfran, Pedro, Fabregas, Negredo, Mata, Llorente, Cazorla, Navas.

Ireland: Given, O'Shea, St. Ledger, Dunne, Ward, McGeady, Whelan, Andrews, Duff, Keane, Cox. Substitutes: Westwood, Forde, Doyle, Kelly, McShane, Walters, Gibson, Hunt, O'Dea, Long, Green, McClean.

___

1956: Mandzukic was carried off on a stretcher just before the final whistle with a left leg injury. That will be a worry for Croatia coach Slaven Bilic ahead of the Spain game on Sunday. A draw was a fair result as Croatia maintains its unbeaten record against Italy. The 2006 world champions were the better side in the first half but Croatia was dangerous after the interval and could be a dark horse at Euro 2012.

___

1951: FULLTIME: Italy 1, Croatia 1

___

1945: Into injury time. With Spain its last opponent, Croatia could really do with getting qualification wrapped up early. A draw leaves things up for grabs heading into the final group games.

___

1941: Mandzukic sprints forward down the center with options both side of him. He finds Jelavic on the right, who takes a touch before trying to return it to Mandzukic but his pass is intercepted and cleared. Good chance for Croatia to get a shot away there. Will the team get another? Jelavic is off for Eduardo.

___

1935: Nine minutes left to play, can either side score a winner? You'd have to say the momentum is now with Croatia having pulled level and improved drastically in the second half. Riccardo Montolivo is booked after catching the back of Mandzukic's head when challenging him for a header.

___

1932: Croatia equalizes in the 72nd minute and it's Mario Mandzukic with his third goal of the tournament. His first touch isn't the greatest as he controls a cross from the left but his second makes up for it, lashing the ball in off the near post. Russia's Alan Dzagoev and Germany's Mario Gomez are the other players with three goals so far.

___

1927: GOAL! Italy 1, Croatia 1 (Mandzukic)

___

1922: With 70 minutes played, the Italians still lead 1-0. If the score stays the same, they would go top of the group — at least for a few hours. Thiago Motta and Mario Balotelli have been replaced by Riccardo Montolivo and Antonio Di Natale for Italy while Ivan Perisic is taken off for Daniel Pranjic for Croatia.

___

1918: Italy midfielder Thiago Motta has picked up a yellow card for a tussle with Nikica Jelavic at a Croatia corner. At the other end, Balotelli, who has been quiet in the second half, powers a long-range shot over the crossbar.

___

1912: A smoke bomb is holding up play here and it has come from the Croatia fans, landing just next to the pitch. The Croatian FA could face a fine because of the conduct of their supporters.

___

1905: Modric has had two chances already after the break. His first effort dribbled through to Buffon; his second was struck much firmer but flies over the bar. It looks like the Tottenham midfielder will be playing further forward this half.

___

1901: The teams are back out and the second half is under way. No substitutions yet.

___

1852: Before the goal, Pletikosa made a great double save from Marchisio from close range. The goalkeeper was well beaten, though, by Pirlo, who has run the game from central midfield in the first half. He was one of Italy's star players when the team won the 2006 World Cup and he looks to have lost none of his class six years on.

___

1846: HALFTIME: Italy 1, Croatia 0

___

1842: He's been majestic all match and he's just put the Italians ahead in the 39th minute. Andrea Pirlo curls an exquisite free kick over the wall and into the net at the near post. Pletikosa got a hand to the ball but couldn't keep it out.

___

1840: GOAL! Italy 1, Croatia 0 (Pirlo)

___

1833: First signs of life from Italy striker Antonio Cassano, who drags a shot wide from an acute angle. Cassano made the headlines in the build-up to the game when he said he hopes there are no homosexual players on the Italy team at the European Championship. Hours later, he issued a statement apologizing that his comments "created controversy and protests from gay associations."

___

1825: Still 0-0 after 25 minutes but this is a lively game and there have been some good early chances. Croatia has come back into it after a slow start.

___

1818: Penalty shout from Croatia but referee Webb gets this decision spot on. Jelavic falls over as he challenges for a cross with Chiellini but it was the Croatia striker who did the pulling in the first place and is penalized.

___

1810: Italy is on top and Claudio Marchisio's shot from around 25 yards and is inches away from nestling in the top corner. Balotelli then smashes a fierce shot straight at goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa from the edge of the area.

___

1806: The enigmatic Mario Balotelli was at the center of things against Spain and he makes his presence felt here early on by controling a cross from the left, turning and shooting just wide with his left foot. That was close. Much of the pre-match talk was about the head-to-head between midfield playmakers Andrea Pirlo of Italy and Luka Modric of Croatia. Pirlo has settled well already.

___

1800: Referee is England's Howard Webb, who was in charge of the 2010 World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands. Italy kicks off.

___

1755: Italy is staying with its makeshift defense that coped very well against Spain. That sees midfielder Daniele De Rossi stay at center back after a very impressive performance in that match — he plays despite having a cast on his right arm. Teams are out for the national anthems.

___

1748: Here's a tweet from former United States defender Alexi Lalas. (at)AlexiLalas: Ran into a squirrel on my morning run. Argued with him about who Prandelli should start up top. Squirrels love Balotelli.

___

1740: Having already beaten Ireland 3-1, Croatia will become the first team to qualify for the quarterfinals if it beats Italy. The Croatians have never lost to their opponents today so the omens are good, although Italy looked handy in the 1-1 draw with Spain on Sunday.

___

1732: Here are the lineups for Italy vs. Croatia. Both teams are unchanged from their first games:

Italy: Buffon, Chiellini, De Rossi, Bonucci, Giaccherini, Marchisio, Pirlo, Thiago Motta, Maggio, Cassano, Balotelli. Substitutes: De Sanctis, Sirigu, Ogbonna, Balzaretti, Abate, Di Natale, Barzagli, Borini, Montolivo, Giovinco, Diamanti, Nocerino.

Croatia: Pletikosa, Srna, Corluka, Schildenfeld, Strinic, Rakitic, Vukojevic, Modric, Perisic, Mandzukic, Jelavic. Substitutes: Kelava, Subasic, Simunic, Buljat, Pranjic, Badelj, Versaljko, Dujmovic, Kalinic, Kranjcar, Vida, Eduardo.

View Comments (0)