Luka Modric lurked on the sting of the world, ready for the ball to return to him earlier than completely stroking it into the highest nook with the skin of his boot.
At 35, this might be the Croatia captain’s final European Championship, and he doesn’t wish to go house simply but.
Modric’s majestic aim within the 62nd minute helped Croatia beat Scotland 3-1 on Tuesday and provides the workforce a spot within the spherical of 16 at Euro 2020 by ending second in Group D. Croatia will face the runner-up from Group E on Monday in Copenhagen.
“This aim means so much to me however our play means extra, from the start till the tip,“ Modric stated. “I’m pleased that my aim helped, but it surely’s most necessary that the workforce received.”
Modric, who additionally picked up an help on Croatia’s third aim, had a quiet first two group matches, with the midfielder compelled into deeper positions and Croatia dealing with criticism for missing spark in assault. However the playmaker confirmed his class and why he received the Ballon d’Or in 2018 – the identical 12 months he helped his workforce attain the World Cup ultimate.
He fell to his knees on the ultimate whistle for a couple of minute earlier than rising to his toes and pumping his fists in celebration. He then went over with an enormous smile on his face to hug Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic.
“Nobody is bound how Luka manages it,” Dalic stated. “All of us anticipate that Luka’s ranges would go down and he would lose his power. However he doesn’t quit.
“I’m very proud to have such a participant and to have him as part of this workforce.“
Modric is now the youngest and oldest participant to attain for Croatia on the European Championship.
He scored when he was 22 years, 273 days in opposition to Austria in 2008. On Tuesday, he was 35 years, 286 days.
Croatia’s two different objectives got here from winger Nikola Vlasic’s low shot from shut vary within the 17th minute and Ivan Perisic’s flicked header within the 77th from a nook taken by Modric.
“Once we play like this, we’re harmful to everybody.”
Vlasic’s took two touches for his aim and fired a low shot previous Scotland goalkeeper David Marshall. It was Croatia’s first actual assault of the match after Scotland dominated the opening levels.
It was poor defending by wingback Stephen O’Donnell, who let Perisic leap above him unchallenged. Scotland sat again on events after the aim, inviting Croatia to push ahead in harmful positions.
“I’m devastated we’re not via,“ Scotland midfielder John McGinn stated. “Extraordinarily pleased with the hassle, however we got here up in opposition to a superb workforce and their expertise confirmed.
Callum McGregor equalized for Scotland simply earlier than halftime, drilling the ball from simply exterior the penalty space into the left nook. Scotland’s first aim of the match _ and its first in a serious males’s competitors because the 1998 World Cup _ electrified the environment at Hampden Park, with the Tartan Military leaping and hugging within the stands.
“The followers have been wonderful,” McGregor stated. “They (Croatia) simply had an excessive amount of high quality in the long run. It’s a tricky lesson.”
Scotland exited the match in final place within the group with just one level.
“They knew needed to play a 3rd sport of the match,” Scotland coach Steve Clarke stated. “They knew higher than we did. Loads to be taught from, coach included.”