Euro 2024‘s incredible streak of dramatic finishes took another spectacular twist on Monday, as Mattia Zaccagni saved defending champion Italy from possible elimination with a stunning equalizer to tie Croatia 1-1 in the eighth minute of injury time.

Zaccagni’s beautiful strike to cap off a rapid counterattack turned Group B on its head and broke Croatia’s hearts, the 2022 World Cup bronze medalists now probably headed for the exit and needing a miracle to send it through as one of the best third-place finishers.

Earlier, Luka Modric had turned back the clock to send Croatia to the verge of the knockout round thanks to a stunning chain of events in Leipzig.

The midfield maestro, world player of the year in 2018 and a six-time winner of the Champions League with Real Madrid, had his penalty attempt on 54 minutes brilliantly saved by Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

However, just 33 seconds later, he became the oldest scorer in the history of the European Championship, clipping the ball into the roof of Donnarumma’s net after it fell in his path in the penalty area following Ante Budimir’s shot being parried.

But it wasn’t enough, not quite.

Mattia Zaccagni scores in stoppage time vs. Croatia

Italy had created chances throughout, but had to wait until the final kick of the game to complete its revival and set up a round of 16 clash against Switzerland in Berlin on June 29.

With Spain having already guaranteed its place as group winner going into the final pair of matches, the result clinched second spot for Italy and saved it from the potential of what would have been a demoralizing exit for a team that went on such a stirring run to the title in 2021.

Croatia’s two-point haul from Group B, is unlikely to be enough, pending other results. Albania is out of contention, having finished bottom of the group after losing 1-0 to Spain in Dusseldorf, the goal coming from Ferran Torres.

The drama came on the heels of Group A’s wild ride a day earlier, with Germany winning the group and Hungary giving itself a lifeline, both also thanks to injury-time strikes.

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports. Follow him on Twitter @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the daily newsletter.

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