Croatia Triumphs Over Portugal: Modric and Budimir Score to Clinch Historic Victory

Croatia clinched a win in their final warm-up game before Euro 2024, with goals from Luka Modric and Ante Budimir ensuring they romped past Portugal.

The match ignited early when Vitinha fouled Mateo Kovacic, earning Croatia a penalty. Captain Modric stepped up, nailing the shot past Diogo Costa to take the lead.

Throughout the first half, Croatia maintained control. Lovro Majer’s attempt forced a savvy save from Portugal’s keeper, keeping Zlatko Dalic’s team firmly in the driver’s seat against Portugal’s formidable forwards: Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, Joao Felix, and Goncalo Ramos.

After the break, Diogo Jota, coming off the bench, quickly equalized by connecting with Nelson Semedo’s sharp cross.

In their eighth clash, Croatia sought redemption against Portugal. Their lone prior draw haunted them until Budimir pounced on Mario Pasalic’s rebound off the bar, sealing an unprecedented victory.

The introduction of Premier League stalwarts Pedro Neto and Matthues Nunes amped up Portugal’s offense, yet their efforts fizzled against Croatia’s steadfast keeper, Dominik Livakovic. Cristiano Ronaldo watched from the sidelines as Ruben Dias missed a late chance to equalize.

Scoop Scoop: Budimir Smashes, Kovacic Slick as Ever

Budimir lit up the game; his trifecta of attempts yielded an xG of 1.07, topping the charts whereas the entire Portugal squad managed an xG of just 1.54.

Kovacic, a maestro in the midfield, rocked with a perfect passing rate, hitting all 39 of his passes precisely.

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