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Italy advances at Euro 2024 after Zaccagni equalizer in injury time against Croatia

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Italy advances at Euro 2024 after Zaccagni equalizer in injury time against Croatia
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Italy advances at Euro 2024 after Zaccagni equalizer in injury time against Croatia

2024-06-25 06:29 Last Updated At:06:31

LEIPZIG, Germany (AP) — Italy substitute Mattia Zaccagni scored in the last minute of stoppage time for Italy to advance to the knockout stage of the European Championship after drawing Croatia 1-1 on Monday.

Luka Modric’s second-half strike looked like sending Croatia through as the Group B runner-up, but Zaccagni swept a brilliant shot inside the far post in the eighth minute of added time to cap a furious finale from the defending champions.

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Croatia's Ante Budimir, left, vies for the ball with Italy's Matteo Darmian during a Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

LEIPZIG, Germany (AP) — Italy substitute Mattia Zaccagni scored in the last minute of stoppage time for Italy to advance to the knockout stage of the European Championship after drawing Croatia 1-1 on Monday.

Croatia's Luka Modric celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Croatia's Luka Modric celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Croatia's Luka Modric scores his side's opening goal during a Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Croatia's Luka Modric scores his side's opening goal during a Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Croatia's Luka Modric reacts at the end of Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

Croatia's Luka Modric reacts at the end of Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

Italy's Mattia Zaccagni, right, celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal of Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

Italy's Mattia Zaccagni, right, celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal of Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

Italy's Mattia Zaccagni, top left, celebrates after he scored his side's opening goal during the Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Italy's Mattia Zaccagni, top left, celebrates after he scored his side's opening goal during the Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Italy's Mattia Zaccagni scores his side's opening goal during a Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Italy's Mattia Zaccagni scores his side's opening goal during a Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Italy's Mattia Zaccagni celebrates after scoring during a Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Italy's Mattia Zaccagni celebrates after scoring during a Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Italian players celebrate after teammate Mattia Zaccagni scored during a Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Italian players celebrate after teammate Mattia Zaccagni scored during a Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic was unhappy so much time was added after a battling performance from his side.

“You can’t have eight minutes of added time after that game, it’s nonsense,” Dalic said. “There weren’t so many breaks in play, or so many fouls to justify that. I don’t want to cause a fuss but I think Croatia needs to be acknowledged and respected. We played for almost three hours.”

Italy needed a point to progress, while Croatia realistically needed a win to stay in the tournament. The Croatians have two points from their three games and were at the mercy of other results to see if it’s enough to scrape through as one of the best third-place finishers.

Dalic made no mention of waiting. He already believes his side is out.

Italy will face Switzerland in the round of 16 on Saturday in Berlin's Olympiastadion, where the final is on July 14.

“We were a bit soft at times in the game, we didn’t produce our best football,” Italy coach Luciano Spalletti said. “When you can afford to draw the game, that’s how it goes, you know a draw is enough, you are a bit more timid.”

But Spalletti bristled at a question asking if he was concerned about his team trailing going into stoppage time.

“Worries and concerns are part and parcel of this job,” the Italy coach said. “We did what we needed to do.”

Modric scored 33 seconds after having a penalty saved by Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma to become the oldest goal-scorer ever at the tournament.

Modric, at 38 years, 289 days on Monday, broke the record held by Ivica Vastic, who was 38 years, 257 days, when he scored for Austria against Poland at Euro 2008.

After Modric’s penalty miss, Croatia immediately attacked again and Donnarumma had to save a shot by Ante Budimir. Modric pounced on the rebound in the 55th minute.

The goal sent showers of beer into the sky as ecstatic Croatian fans jettisoned the cups they were holding in the celebrations.

Alessandro Bastoni headed just over in response as the Italians suddenly found themselves in need of a goal. Defeat could have seen the defending champion knocked out depending on results in other games.

Modric turned his skills to defense until he went off to standing ovations in the 80th.

“He wasn't tired,” said Dalic, who added he wanted to give his star a rest.

But Italy maintained its pressure and it finally paid off at the last possible moment with Zaccagni’s curling shot.

AP Euro 2024: https://apnews.com/hub/euro-2024

Croatia's Ante Budimir, left, vies for the ball with Italy's Matteo Darmian during a Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

Croatia's Ante Budimir, left, vies for the ball with Italy's Matteo Darmian during a Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

Croatia's Luka Modric celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Croatia's Luka Modric celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Croatia's Luka Modric scores his side's opening goal during a Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Croatia's Luka Modric scores his side's opening goal during a Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Croatia's Luka Modric reacts at the end of Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

Croatia's Luka Modric reacts at the end of Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

Italy's Mattia Zaccagni, right, celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal of Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

Italy's Mattia Zaccagni, right, celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal of Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

Italy's Mattia Zaccagni, top left, celebrates after he scored his side's opening goal during the Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Italy's Mattia Zaccagni, top left, celebrates after he scored his side's opening goal during the Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Italy's Mattia Zaccagni scores his side's opening goal during a Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Italy's Mattia Zaccagni scores his side's opening goal during a Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Italy's Mattia Zaccagni celebrates after scoring during a Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Italy's Mattia Zaccagni celebrates after scoring during a Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Italian players celebrate after teammate Mattia Zaccagni scored during a Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Italian players celebrate after teammate Mattia Zaccagni scored during a Group B match between Croatia and Italy at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — This year, Ukraine’s largest music festival struck a different chord. Gone were the international headliners, the massive performance halls and the hundreds of thousands of visitors.

Instead, beloved local artists graced the stage this past weekend at the Atlas Festival — the first since Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022 — for a smaller but still ebullient crowd. The stage was erected in a shopping mall parking lot, the only option with a shelter large enough to contain the 25,000 people expected in the event of an air raid.

Carefree youth danced, romanced and sang along, rubbing shoulders with hardened military commanders as famous singers who crooned lyrics imbued with national pride. Music was the main goal, but so was shattering the illusion that the capital is invulnerable to the bloody battles hundreds of miles away.

“Such kind of festivals can’t be separated from the life of the country. The country is at war. The core issues here should relate to the war,” said Vsevolod Kozhemyako, a businessman and one of the founders of the 13th “Khartia” Brigade, now a part of Ukraine’s National Guard and defending the frontline in Kharkiv.

“People who are still young and who don’t join (the fight) should understand that they cannot live in a bubble,” he said.

And yet, a bubble is precisely how it feels to be in Kyiv, as the war approaches its third year. While Ukrainian soldiers are killed and wounded every day along the 1,000-kilometer (620-mile) frontline in the east, the capital is a contrast with its busy bars and clubs.

Every so often, Kyiv comes face to face with the war. Two weeks ago, a barrage of Russian missiles destroyed a children’s hospital and a private clinic, in one of the deadliest attacks since the full-scale invasion. Residents have grappled with power cuts caused by Moscow’s targeted destruction of Ukrainian energy generation at the height of a summer heat wave.

In every corner of the music festival, visitors were confronted with the inescapable reality that theirs is a country trapped in a bloody war of attrition. Festival organizers hoped to raise $2.2 million (2 million euros) to help soldiers purchase supplies for the front line.

In the mall’s basement parking lot, various military units, from Khartia to the 3rd Assault, offered interactive games to lure donations and possible recruits. A first-person shooter game offered visitors a chance to improve target practice by gunning down shadowy virtual infantrymen. In another corner, medics brandished severed plastic limbs and offered emergency medical training.

The festival concluded Sunday with a much-anticipated performance from Serhii Zhadan and his band Zhadan and Dogs. Zhadan, a celebrated artist dubbed the poet of the Donbas, recently joined Khartia.

“It’s just a small break, an opportunity to take a breath,” said Zhadan, minutes before he took to the stage for a roaring crowd. “The most important things, they are happening over there, at the frontline.”

On stage, Zhadan started with one of his most beloved songs “Malvi” or “Mallow.” The crowd sang along, word for word. “But what can you do with my hot blood,” they chanted. “Who will come at us.”

18-year old Viktoriia Khalis was excited to see his performance. She had been to the Atlas festival once before in 2021. The difference is stark, she said.

“The main thing that has changed, unfortunately, now the festival is connected with donations,” she said. But she also felt more connected to her homeland. “I feel this entire crowd is related to me. I feel unity.”

She was scared there would be another Russian air attack — a music festival with thousands of attendees would be a prime target — but said she couldn’t miss a chance to see her favorite artists.

For Nadiia Dorofeeva, one of Ukraine’s most famous singers, every concert feels different. “Before, when I entered a stage I was thinking only about if I looked good, sang well and if the people got what they came for. But now, I dream of having no air alarms, I am seeing how people cry at my concerts.”

One of Dorofeeva’s songs, “WhatsApp,” is about a girl waiting for her beloved to return from war. “She washed the phone with tears/Like rainy glass,” often moves listeners to tears.

Among the attendees was Lt. Gen. Serhii Naiev, an assistant deputy chief in Ukraine’s General Staff.

“There are well-known artists on stage, they are performing their concerts and there are a lot of Ukrainians around who are donating their money, much-needed money for the armed forces of Ukraine,” he said.

“We understand that our partners are supporting us, but we also understand that we could do a lot by ourselves, to be stronger,” he said.

Follow AP's coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

People enjoy a concert at the Atlas Festival in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, July 21, 2024. This year, Ukraine's largest music festival struck a different chord. Gone were the international headliners, the massive performance halls and the hundreds of thousands of visitors. (AP Photo/Anton Shtuka)

People enjoy a concert at the Atlas Festival in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, July 21, 2024. This year, Ukraine's largest music festival struck a different chord. Gone were the international headliners, the massive performance halls and the hundreds of thousands of visitors. (AP Photo/Anton Shtuka)

People enjoy a concert at the Atlas Festival in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, July 21, 2024. This year, Ukraine's largest music festival struck a different chord. Gone were the international headliners, the massive performance halls and the hundreds of thousands of visitors. (AP Photo/Anton Shtuka)

People enjoy a concert at the Atlas Festival in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, July 21, 2024. This year, Ukraine's largest music festival struck a different chord. Gone were the international headliners, the massive performance halls and the hundreds of thousands of visitors. (AP Photo/Anton Shtuka)

Serhii Zhadan, well-known Ukrainian writer and poet, leader of music band Zhadan and Dogs, performs at the Atlas Festival in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, July 21, 2024. This year, Ukraine's largest music festival struck a different chord. Gone were the international headliners, the massive performance halls and the hundreds of thousands of visitors. (AP Photo/Anton Shtuka)

Serhii Zhadan, well-known Ukrainian writer and poet, leader of music band Zhadan and Dogs, performs at the Atlas Festival in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, July 21, 2024. This year, Ukraine's largest music festival struck a different chord. Gone were the international headliners, the massive performance halls and the hundreds of thousands of visitors. (AP Photo/Anton Shtuka)

People with painted faces go to the Atlas Festival in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, July 21, 2024. This year, Ukraine's largest music festival struck a different chord. Gone were the international headliners, the massive performance halls and the hundreds of thousands of visitors. (AP Photo/Anton Shtuka)

People with painted faces go to the Atlas Festival in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, July 21, 2024. This year, Ukraine's largest music festival struck a different chord. Gone were the international headliners, the massive performance halls and the hundreds of thousands of visitors. (AP Photo/Anton Shtuka)

People enjoy a concert at the Atlas Festival in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, July 21, 2024. This year, Ukraine's largest music festival struck a different chord. Gone were the international headliners, the massive performance halls and the hundreds of thousands of visitors. (AP Photo/Anton Shtuka)

People enjoy a concert at the Atlas Festival in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, July 21, 2024. This year, Ukraine's largest music festival struck a different chord. Gone were the international headliners, the massive performance halls and the hundreds of thousands of visitors. (AP Photo/Anton Shtuka)

People dance waiting for the start of the Atlas Festival in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, July 21, 2024. This year, Ukraine's largest music festival struck a different chord. Gone were the international headliners, the massive performance halls and the hundreds of thousands of visitors. (AP Photo/Anton Shtuka)

People dance waiting for the start of the Atlas Festival in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, July 21, 2024. This year, Ukraine's largest music festival struck a different chord. Gone were the international headliners, the massive performance halls and the hundreds of thousands of visitors. (AP Photo/Anton Shtuka)

Serhii Zhadan, well-known Ukrainian writer and poet, leader of music band Zhadan and Dogs, performs at the Atlas Festival in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, July 21, 2024. This year, Ukraine's largest music festival struck a different chord. Gone were the international headliners, the massive performance halls and the hundreds of thousands of visitors. (AP Photo/Anton Shtuka)

Serhii Zhadan, well-known Ukrainian writer and poet, leader of music band Zhadan and Dogs, performs at the Atlas Festival in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, July 21, 2024. This year, Ukraine's largest music festival struck a different chord. Gone were the international headliners, the massive performance halls and the hundreds of thousands of visitors. (AP Photo/Anton Shtuka)

People enjoy a concert at the Atlas Festival in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, July 21, 2024. This year, Ukraine's largest music festival struck a different chord. Gone were the international headliners, the massive performance halls and the hundreds of thousands of visitors. (AP Photo/Anton Shtuka)

People enjoy a concert at the Atlas Festival in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, July 21, 2024. This year, Ukraine's largest music festival struck a different chord. Gone were the international headliners, the massive performance halls and the hundreds of thousands of visitors. (AP Photo/Anton Shtuka)

People enjoy a concert at the Atlas Festival in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, July 21, 2024. This year, Ukraine's largest music festival struck a different chord. Gone were the international headliners, the massive performance halls and the hundreds of thousands of visitors. (AP Photo/Anton Shtuka)

People enjoy a concert at the Atlas Festival in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, July 21, 2024. This year, Ukraine's largest music festival struck a different chord. Gone were the international headliners, the massive performance halls and the hundreds of thousands of visitors. (AP Photo/Anton Shtuka)

People enjoy a concert at the Atlas Festival in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, July 21, 2024. This year, Ukraine's largest music festival struck a different chord. Gone were the international headliners, the massive performance halls and the hundreds of thousands of visitors. (AP Photo/Anton Shtuka)

People enjoy a concert at the Atlas Festival in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, July 21, 2024. This year, Ukraine's largest music festival struck a different chord. Gone were the international headliners, the massive performance halls and the hundreds of thousands of visitors. (AP Photo/Anton Shtuka)

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