Rakitic takes on Parolo as his side secure a valuable point / CFF

Croatia and Italy have drawn 1-1 in their top of the table Euro 2016 qualifying Group H match. The encounter was played in front of an empty Poljud stadium in Split due to a UEFA ban on supporters following trouble when the Croats hosted Norway in their previous game. The result means there is no change in the way things stand in the group, with Croatia still two points clear of the Italians and both sides on good track for a place in next year’s finals in France, although Norway and Bulgaria are both still in contention.

Barça’s Rakitic played the full 90 minutes just six days after winning the Champions League in Berlin, and on Friday night he was once again facing Buffon, Pirlo, Bonucci and Marchisio of Juventus. Rakitic was involved in several chances for his side, but failed to get on the scoresheet.

Buffon, who only played the first half, got off to fine start by saving a Mandzukic penalty, but four minutes later the Croatian striker made amends by opening the scoring. Italy then got a penalty of their own, which Candreva duly converted ‘Panenka’ style to get the sides back on level terms. All of that happened in the first half hour, and that was how things stayed until the end.