Croatia Leads Group C; Ties Italy, 1-1
POZNAN, Poland — Italy sat back and paid for it Thursday in a 1-1 draw with Croatia at the European Championship.
Andrea Pirlo gave Italy the lead with a curving free kick in the 39th minute, but Mario Mandzukic was left unmarked to equalize in the 72nd.
Having opened with a 3-1 win over Ireland, Croatia has four points in Group C. Italy has two points after its opening 1-1 with defending champion Spain.
Italy had numerous other early chances, but the Azzurri lacked finishing quality.
At the start of the second half, Italy rarely threatened, instead choosing to absorb Croatia’s attacks. The tactic backfired when Ivan Strinic launched a long pass from the left flank to Mandzukic, who had time to control at the edge of the box and shoot in off the post.