EURO 2024: Croatia and Albania Draw 2-2 in Hamburg

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

Photo by Slobodan Kadic

June 19, 2024 – Afer a nailbiting finish, Croatia and Albania draw 2-2 in Hamburg.

Croatia and Albania met at Volksparkstadion in Hamburg for the second match of Group B at EURO 2024. After Croatia’s shock defeat to Spain in Berlin, Croatia needed to win against Albania — and the fans were out in all of their red-and-white-checkered glory once again. But the Albania fans were out in full force, too.

Dalić made some changes to the lineup compared to the Spain match. Ivan Perišić started from the first minute at left back, Gvardiol and Šutalo were paired back at center back, and Juranović at right back. The midfield line stayed the same, and Petković replaced Budimir up top.


Croatia: Livaković, Juranović, Šutalo, Gvardiol, Perišić, Modrić, Brozović, Kovačić, Majer, Kramarić, Petković

Albania: Strakosha, Hysaj, Djimsiti, Arlind Ajeti, Mitaj, Asllani, Ramadani, Laci, Asani, Manaj, Bajrami 

Match Report

Albania looked dangerous in the first few minutes of the match and pressured Croatia’s defense. From the 5th minute, Croatia regained possession and pushed into Albania’s half. A corner kick was played short, and a free kick for Croatia was unsuccessful.

The stadium had never been louder. Especially when Croatia’s defense slept and conceded a cheap goal for 0-1 Albania in the 12th minute.

Albania was running everything down their right side, likely taking advantage of Perišić’s fitness. Croatia picked up the intensity in the next 10 minutes but alas, they failed to finish. Brozović had the first shot on target in the 20th minute.

Petković missed a chance over the goal in the 26th, and then a dangerous free kick was awarded to Albania the following minute. Another great chance for Albania finished over the goal.

Mdorić lost the ball in Croatia’s half which almost resulted in another goal for Albania, but luckily Gvardiol was there to save the day.

Croatia played possession from the 30th minute and was granted a foul on the left edge of the box, but no one was in front of the Albania keeper to knock it in.

The match was 1-0 for Albania at halftime.

Sucic and Pasalic were subbed on for Majer and Brozovic to start the second half. Let’s hope this helps Croatia’s game.

Juranovic launched the ball into the box from the right but it ended in the keeper’s hands.

Sucic had a shot on goal in the 50th minute and Croatia was definitely more active in Albania’s half for the first 10 minutes.

Kova took a shot in the 53rd minute that went into the keeper’s hands. Perisic launched a ball from the left to Pasalic’s head that went out for a goal kick.

Another good chance for Croatia in the 56th minute went out for a corner, and Sutalo’s near post header missed the goal.

Perisic took his chances with a shot in the 60th minute which deflected off the Albania defender and went into the keeper’s hands. Albania had not been dangerous in Croatia’s half yet this half.

Albania was dangerous in the 66th minute going one-on-one with Gvardiol, but the shot went wide of the goal.

Perisic launched another great ball from the left to the far post, but Pasalic’s header missed the goal. Budimir was subbed on for Petkovic in the 68th minute.

Another corner was awarded for Croatia in the 70th minute, but it was cleared by the Albania defense.

And then finally, right as we were beginning to lose hope – Kramaric saves the day to score for 1-1 in the 74th minute!

Pasalic missed a sitter in front of the keeper in the next minute, but another miracle for Croatia – an own goal in the 76th minute for 2-1 Croatiaaaaaaaa!

Okay, okay – and the fans started screaming again. But another goal would be good to help Croatia’s goal differential in Group B. Sosa was subbed on for Perisic and Baturina for Kramaric in the 85th minute.

Luka shot from just outside the box in the 88th minute, but went wide of the goal. The Croatia fans were counting down the seconds to the final whistle.

Baturina wowed with an incredible run up the left side in the 89th minute and shot at the keeper. Well done to the 21-year-old – and what a way to arrive at your first Euros.

Five minutes of stoppage time were added to the end of the match. All Croatia needed to do was hold onto their lead, but not even that was possible. Albania scored a last-minute goal for 2-2. And everyone was in disbelief.

Croatia plays Italy on Monday at 9 pm in the most decisive game of Group B. Can the Vatreni make magic happen again? The tournament no longer depends on them, and a win against Italy is the only option.

“It wasn’t easy to play the first half against Albania. The pitch was really dry, which also made it difficult. It was hard to create space on the wings. The second half was much better – we were much more dominant and aggressive. We had a lot of chances, but this is football. Sometimes you score a goal in the final minute to win it, and others you get scored on in the last second. That happens in football. We know we need to beat Italy, we have no other choice,” said Kramarić, the player of the match.

“We needed to get that third goal. We didn’t, and that is football. We will give everything we can in the final game against Italy. Croatia has been in these tough situations 100s of times. We will get three points against Italy.”

Dalic commented on the match.

“We are still alive, and the last game is key. We have to win against Italy. We are best when it is toughest.”


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