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.
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
Italy scorers: Pirlo 39 Croatia scorers: Mandzukic 72
Yellow cards: Motta (ITA), Montolivo (ITA), Schildenfeld (CRO)