SERRAVALLE, 24 June 2019 – A brace from Josip Brekalo has helped Croatia to their first point at the at the Under-21 European Championships in San Marino.
Croatia came from behind three times to draw 3-3 with England in their final group game tonight at the San Marino Stadium.
With both sides losing their first two matches to France and Romania, only pride was on the line. For the third consecutive match Croatia would fall behind early when in the 11th minute Nelson converted from the penalty spot after a foul in the penalty area gave England a penalty.
Croatia got back on level terms in the 39th minute when Brekalo scored a cracking goal, cutting in from the left wing to fire past the England keeper into the top corner.
England would regain the lead immediately after the break when a defensive header fell to Maddison in the box who made no mistake.
Nikola Vlašić got his second goal of the tournament to make it 2-2 before England went ahead for the third time through Kenny in the 70th minute with a good shot from distance.
Brekalo showed his class to make it 3-3 when he calmly slotted through the England keeper’s legs after he was put through in the box. Both sides had half chances to win but the result would remain the same. Croatia had 6 attemps on goal to England’s 5 in the match.
Croatia ends the tournament with one point but produced improved performances after their opening 4-1 loss to Romania.
“Croatia’s performance included both effort and fighting spirit. This Euro was a major experience for us,” coach Nenad Gračan said after the match.
San Marino, Serravalle
CROATIA 3 – 3 ENGLAND
GOALS: Nelson (p) 11′, Brekalo 39′, Maddison 48′, Vlašić 62’, Kenny 70’, Brekalo 81′