|1||Marić (GK)||1||Scuffet (GK)|
|12||Grbić (GK)||12||Audero (GK)|
|Ivan Gudelj (CRO)||Daniele Zoratto (ITA)|
|Neil Doyle (IRL)|
The game may have ended without a goal, but there was no lack of action as Croatia and Italy drew their UEFA European Under-17 Championship Group B opener.
Having dispatched former winners France and Spain in the elite round, Croatia lived up to their searing reputation in the first period. Italy responded after the interval, however, and will go into Wednesday's game with Ukraine holding a firm belief they have the talent to progress to the knockout stages.
Croatia's front three of Alen Halilović, Ante Rogulijić and Fran Brodić hit their straps from the off, coupling swift, neat passes with surging runs. However, they were often thwarted by Italy's defensive duo, Elio Capradossi and Giacomo Sciacca, who relished the challenge.
For all their attacking intent, Croatia almost fell behind when Franjo Prce came close to turning Federico Bonazzoli's cross into his own net. That, however, remained the only threat to Marko Marić's goal, and it was opposite number Simone Scuffet who needed to be alert on 16 minutes, denying Brodić with his legs with the forward clean through. Andrea Palazzi then denied the No9 with an excellent block.
The longer the game went on, the more Italy believed they could claim all three points. Alberto Cerri, who impressed in attack, sent an acrobatic volley whistling over, before Bonazzoli almost punished Marić's short clearance with a rasping strike towards the top corner that the Croatia No1 kept out.
Scuffet made another outstanding save with his legs as the clock ticked down, denying Rogulijić from five metres. Robert Murić then sent a free-kick just over as neither side could conjure a winner to join Russia at the section summit.
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