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Modric’s elegant strike propels Croatia into the knockout stage

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Modric scores and assists in his country’s 3-1 win over Scotland as Croatia advance to the knockout stage of EURO 2020.

Croatia v Scotland - UEFA Euro 2020: Group D Photo by Andy Buchanan - Pool/Getty Images

Luka Modric’s Croatia advanced to the knockout round of the EURO 2020 after defeating Scotland 3-1 in Hampden Park in Glasgow. Modric took over the match in the second half, scoring an incredible goal and assisting Ivan Perisic.

Modric was able to dictate possession from deep but Scotland tried to limit his touches in dangerous areas. The game became more stretched in the second half and Modric was able to be more effective in the final third and ultimately provided the winner.

The match was a must-win for both teams. Scotland started the match on the front foot, looking to find their first goal of the tournament. John McGuinn cut past a defender and lofted a cross to Che Adams in the sixth minute. Any contact would’ve seen the ball in the back of the net but he couldn’t get a touch.

It was Croatia who opened the scoring after slowing the pace of the match with sustained possession. Modric received the ball at the top of the box and played it wide. A cross was played into the box and Ivan Perisic climbed over his defender and headed the ball toward the penalty spot. Nikola Vlasic arrived first and poked the ball into the back of the net.

The goal knocked the wind out of Scotland and Croatia were able to build from the back and pass through the Scottish midfield. Modric fired a rocket toward goal that was tipped over in the 22nd minute.

John McGinn almost found the equalizer two minutes later. Scotland broke forward at pace and kept the ball in play after a deep cross. The ball fell to McGuinn but his side-footed shot didn’t trouble the Croatian keeper.

Scotland grew into the match as the match neared halftime and in the 42nd minute they found the game-tying goal. Scotland played the ball down the right channel and a cross was floated into the box. It was cleared and Robertson hit it back into the box. The ball was headed toward the top of the 18-yard box and Callum McGregor took one touch and fired the ball into the bottom corner as Hampden Park erupted.

The second half was back and forth as both teams looked for the winner that would send them to the knockout stage.

Vlasic played a ball that sliced through the Scottish defense in the 50th minute. Josko Gvardiol received the pass on the run but his touch let him down and the chance was wasted. Modric unlocked the Scottish defense with a lofted pass to Perisic, who shot right at the keeper. David Marchall made the save and the flag went up for offside.

McGinn arrived to meet a cross at the back post and it looked like Scotland would make it 2-1 but the ball was hit just wide of the post.

Modric was able to pop up in dangerous positions as the Scottish defense dealt with waves of offensive and defensive transition. Mateo Kovacic laid the ball back to the on-rushing Modric at the top of the 18-yard box in the 62nd minute. Modric elegantly stuck the ball first time with the outside of his boot and curled the ball into the back of the net, giving Croatia a 2-1 lead.

Scotland upped their urgency and put Croatia under pressure as they searched for a second equalizer. But Croatia struck again and Modric was instrumental. He swung in a corner to the head of Perisic. His header was flicked onto the back post and snuck in, giving Croatia a two-goal lead that they would not relinquish.