Croatia 3-1 Scotland: Luka Modric scores stunning goal at Hampden park to send Vetrani into EURO 2020 round of 16
Croatia defeated Scotland in Glasgow thanks to goals from Nikola Vlašić, Luka Modrić and Ivan Perišić, securing the runners-up spot in Group D and a place in the last 16, while co-hosts Scotland were eliminated.
Both teams required a win to advance to the knockout round, and when John McGinn's searching cross landed just out of Ché Adams' reach minutes in, it signalled the start of an enthralling do-or-die battle.
Croatia took the lead in the 17th minute. Vlašić squeezed a shot into David Marshall's bottom corner after Bruno Petković cushioned Josip Juranović's floating cross.
As Croatia got into their stride, Modric sought to dominate and take advantage.
But Scotland's constant pressure paid off just before halftime when a scuffed Croatian clearing fell to Callum McGregor, who blasted home to restore parity.
Knowing that a draw would send both teams home, the second half was relentless.
Croatia took the lead again on 62 minutes, this time through Modric's magnificent outside-of-the-boot curler, which beat Marshall.
Late in the game, the Vatreni added a gleam to the scoreline as Perišić flicked home from a corner to seal the victory and book their place in the knockout round.
Man of the Match: Nikola Vlašić (Croatia)
What the players and managers said
Luka Modrić, Croatia captain: "We are happy because we played well and qualified for the next round. We were not happy with performances in our first two matches and we knew we could be better. When we play like this, we are a danger to everyone."
Steve Clarke, Scotland manager: "I am sad for the players. We waited a long time to get to a tournament and it was a good group of players that got us here. Over the course of the group stage there was a lot of good stuff, but ultimately not the points we needed."
Zlatko Dalić, Croatia coach: "I want to thank everyone who has supported us. You are our strength and we will make you proud. The last ten days have been a big test for us. We’ve shown what we can do, and everything will be easier from now on."
Callum McGregor, Scotland midfielder: "It was a proud moment for myself to score for my country. It's what every boy dreams of. We had a four or five-minute spell after half-time when we might have got another one but, like I said, we were up against real quality and in the end it was too much for us."
Nikola Vlašić, Croatia midfielder: "It was an excellent game. We knew we could play like that. After their equaliser, we kept calm and knew that we were the better team and could create more chances. In the end, we won convincingly. I think this is the Croatia we all want to see."