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EURO 2012 GROUP C: Italy fade as Croatia claim a point

Italy have again failed to win their second group match for the last five major tournaments for despite taking a first-half lead they were held 1-1 by Croatia who rallied after the break. Since gaining independence Croatia are now unbeaten in their six games against Italy, but they looked to be on their way to losing that record as Andrea Pirlo ended a period of first half dominance by Italy by scoring direct from a free kick after Mario Balotelli had been impeded.

In fact if Croatia keeper Pletikosa had not made a fine double save moments earlier from Marchiso then Italy would have been comfortable.

But in the second half Croatia pressed Italy back and as their opponents faded the pressure paid off in the 72nd minute.

A cross from the left by Ivan Strinic was completely misjudged by Italian defender Chiellini allowing Mario Mandzukic to smash the equaliser in off the woodwork.

The Croats had won their last four group games at the European Championship, but despite keeping up the pressure failed to make it five despite five minutes of added time.

Referee: Howard Webb

Venue: Municipal Stadium, Poznan

Attendance: 37,096

Italy scorers: Pirlo 39 Croatia scorers: Mandzukic 72

Yellow cards: Motta (ITA), Montolivo (ITA), Schildenfeld (CRO)

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Dave Williams

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