Post subject: Croatia 1-1 Italy
12. Jun 2015, 23:30
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|Italy bounced back from a contentious opening goal to secure a 1-1 draw with Croatia in Euro 2016 qualifying on Friday.
Playing in front of an empty stadium in Split as punishment for alleged racist chanting against Norway in March, Niko Kovac's side maintained their two-point advantage at the top of the pool, but that cushion would have been bigger had Gianluigi Buffon - who was taken off at half-time – not saved Mario Mandzukic's early spot-kick.
The Atletico Madrid forward was not to be denied soon after as he opened the scoring following a swift break from the hosts, but they were unable to find a winner.
Instead, Italy were given a way back into the game 10 minutes before the break as Mandzukic handled, Lazio's Antonio Candreva making no mistake from the spot.
Both sides pushed for a winner in the second half, but found chances much harder to come by, with neither goalkeeper truly stretched.
The point leaves Croatia - who saw captain Darijo Srna sent off late on - in the driving seat in the group with four games remaining, while Italy are looking over their shoulders to Norway in third.