Scotland made a bright start, with Che Adams spurning two good opportunities, but it was Croatia who took the lead when Nikola Vlasic angled a low strike into the back of the net from an Ivan Perisic knock down.
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JUNE 22: Nikola Vlasic celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the game to make it 1-0 to Croatia during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group D match between Croatia and Scotland at Hampden Park on June 22, 2021
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Grant Hanley was forced off through injury before half time as Scotland struggled to respond to falling behind. However, Callum McGregor got his team back on level terms on 42 minutes with a well-taken strike from the edge of the box.
Josko Gvardiol was thwarted by David Marshall at the start of the second period before John McGinn somehow managed to flick an Andy Robertson cross to the back post wide when he should have scored.
Luke Modric made Scotland pay for their wastefulness by angling an outside-of-the-boot finish past Marshall from 18 yards out with Scotland too slow to press the Real Madrid midfielder.
The points were ultimately secured when Perisic got across his marker to flick home a Modric corner kick delivery off the inside of the far post, sending Croatia into the last 16 and Scotland home.
TALKING POINT - Scotland missed Billy Gilmour’s composure against Luka Modric
Scotland’s preparations for this match were dealt a blow when it emerged Gilmour, fresh from a Man of the Match performance at Wembley, had tested positive for Covid-19. Clarke attempted to compensate for the loss of the 20-year-old, but Scotland just weren’t able to replicate the composure and control the Chelsea youngster would have brought in the centre of the pitch. This proved to be critical against Modric and the Croatia midfield, who dictated things.
Luka Modric (Croacia)
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MAN OF THE MATCH - Luka Modric (Croatia)
Deployed in a more advanced role than was the case against England in Croatia’s first game of the tournament, Modric was the one who made the difference at Hampden. It was the 35-year-old’s masterful finish that put his team back in front in the second half, but his performance was about much more than the goal he scored. Indeed, Scotland had nobody of Modric’s quality to conduct attacks and get them forward from deep.
Luka Modric (Croatia) against Scotland / Euro 2021
7’ Chance for Adams! Oh what an opportunity for Scotland! McGinn cut inside and delivered a wonderful ball for Adams, but he couldn't make a connection and Livakovic saves.
17’ GOAL! Croatia 1-0 Scotland: The breakthrough and it's gone the way of Croatia! The cross was played to the back post, Perisic got above O'Donnell to knock down and Vlasic was on hand to control and angle a low strike into the back of the net! Bad news for Scotland!
33’ Hanley off! This isn’t good news for Scotland! Hanley looks to have pulled up and he’ll have to come off. Indeed, the injured defender has been replaced by McKenna.
42’ GOAL! Croatia 1-1 Scotland: An equaliser! What a moment and Scotland are well and truly back in this game! The cross came in from the right side, Adams did just enough to control it and set it back to McGregor and the Celtic midfielder fires into the back of the Croatian net!
50’ Gvardiol was through! Armstrong lost track of the Croatian runner who was played in behind by Perisic, but Marshall came out to smother the shot. Gvardiol has taken a knock here.
61’ MCGINN... what a chance! Was that the moment for Scotland? The cross from the left side was a deep one, McGinn had the run on Gvardiol, but the midfielder flicks wide of the post!
62’ GOAL! Croatia 2-1 Scotland: Magnificent finish! That could be the goal that puts Croatia into the last 16! They were patient on the edge of the penalty box, Modric was afforded too much time and space and he finished into the back of the net with the outside of his boot!
77’ GOAL! Croatia 3-1 Scotland: And that should be that for Croatia who will almost certainly be in the last 16! Modric's ball to the near post was a good one and Perisic got ahead of his man to flick in off the back post! Surely there's no way back for Scotland now?
Callum McGregor became the first Scottish player to score at a Euros since June 18th 1996, when Ally McCoist scored against Switzerland at Euro 96.
Luka Modric is now both the youngest (22 years 273 days old against Austria in 2008) and the oldest (35 years, 286 days againstScotland in 2021) Croatian goalscorer in Euros history.