Modric and Budimir strike as Croatia win 2-1 to clinch first ever victory over Portugal

Croatia secured a momentous victory over Portugal in their eighth encounter, with goals from Luka Modric and Ante Budimir propelling them to a 2-1 triumph in an international friendly on Saturday.

Notably, Cristiano Ronaldo was left on the bench. Right after kick-off, Vitinha fouled Mateo Kovacic in the penalty area, leading to a penalty. While Portugal’s goalkeeper, Diogo Costa, correctly anticipated Modric’s shot direction, his dive to the right fell just short, allowing the Real Madrid midfielder to score his 25th goal for Croatia.

However, Diogo Jota, who was brought on as a substitute during halftime, managed to equalize for Portugal just three minutes later. Nelson Semedo, another substitute, provided a short cross from the right that found Jota inside the six-yard box. The skilled Liverpool forward made no mistakes with his close-range finish.

Unfortunately, Croatia regained their lead after eight minutes, despite Costa’s valiant efforts to deflect Budimir’s shot onto the crossbar. The rebound fell right back to Budimir, who easily headed it into the net.

Portugal, who have won six out of their last seven matches against Croatia, will kick off their Euro 2024 Group F campaign against Czech Republic on June 18th. On the other hand, Croatia will face Spain in their first Group B fixture next Saturday.

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