After scoring the earliest goal in European Championship history, Albania left it late to earn their first point of Euro 2024. Check out the best facts, stats and Opta data with our Croatia vs Albania stats page.

Underdogs Albania have won plenty of fans over the course of two spirited performances at this year’s European Championship, and after the dramatic conclusion of this game against Croatia, they have their first point of the tournament, too.

The team ranked 66th in the world and second lowest of every team at Euro 2024 were handed what looked like an impossible task when they were drawn in Group B alongside Italy, Spain and Croatia, but so far they have shown they can compete with the some of the best sides the in world.

They had started their opening match against Italy by scoring the quickest goal in European Championship history, with Nedim Bajrami netting after just 23 seconds. They dropped back immediately after scoring in that game and were unable to withstand the Italian pressure they came under. By the 16th minute, Albania were 2-1 down, and they couldn’t find a way back into the game.

Against Croatia in Hamburg in their second match, history very nearly repeated itself, only for Klaus Gjasula to snatch a point for Albania with the latest equalising goal in European Championship history (excluding extra-time) to leave the group wide open.

For Croatia, meanwhile, the late sucker punch floored their players, who now have to beat Italy in their final game to stand any chance of qualifying for the knockout rounds.

Their manager, Zlatko Dalic, made three changes to his side after the disappointing 3-0 defeat to Spain on Matchday 1, and he went for more experience on this occasion. Dalic brought in Ivan Perisic, Josip Juranovic and Bruno Petkovic, which took the average age of Croatia’s starting XI up to 30 years and one day, making this the second-oldest team they had ever fielded at a major tournament after the third-place play-off at the 1998 World Cup.

There were two changes for Albania, meanwhile, and it was one of those introduced for this game who made a telling early impact.

It took Albania a bit longer to break the deadlock here than it did against Italy, but they still needed only 11 minutes to go in front. Qazim Laçi headed in Jasir Asani’s cross to put the minnows into their second shock early lead of Euro 2024. That goal meant Croatia had already conceded four first-half goals at Euro 2024 – their worst record in a single edition of the competition.

Albania are a limited but spirited team, and again they dropped into an extremely compact deep block, but Croatia had far bigger problems trying to find a way through than Italy did. Over the course of the first half, the same Croatia side who had 16 shots and posted an expected goals (xG) total of 2.4 against Spain had chances worth just 0.25 xG and could not muster a single shot on target.

Croatia vs Albania stats HT

They passed the ball from side to side, bossing possession but finding no way to goal, and also looking extremely vulnerable on the counter-attack. At the break, Albania had had just 31% of the ball but had twice as many shots (eight vs four) and more than three times the xG (0.86 vs 0.25) of their opponents. Rey Manaj and Kristjan Asllani missed the best of their chances, both forcing saves from Dominik Livakovic when it appeared easier to score.

Croatia, who have finished second and third at the last two World Cups, were suddenly staring at the very real possibility that they could be eliminated from Euro 2024 at the group stage. This wasn’t how it was supposed to end for 38-year-old legend Luka Modric.

Dalic’s side came out after the break looking like a team who weren’t ready to go home. They moved the ball much quicker in the final third and weren’t afraid to try and play through the middle of the Albania block, despite there being so little space to operate. They also did a better job of spreading the ball out wide after drawing the Albania defence into the centre of the pitch, which led to plenty of crossing opportunities. In the first 20 minutes of the second half, Croatia had nine shots, having managed just four in the opening 45 minutes.

Albania dropped deeper and deeper as the game went on and, as was the case against Italy, the pressure eventually told and the game was turned on its head in no time at all.

First, substitute Ante Budimir teed up Andrej Kramaric, who fired inside the near post to level things up. Just two minutes later, Budimir got to the byline and pulled the ball back for another sub in Luka Sucic. His shot was blocked by Arlind Ajeti, but he diverted the ball on to Gjasula, who inadvertently put through his own net.

Croatia were in front, in control of the game and it looked like Albania would be heading home empty-handed.

But there was more drama to come.

Croatia v Albania xG race

Needing a goal to rescue their Euro 2024 campaign, Albania manager Sylvinho made changes and threw men forward. There were chances for Arbër Hoxha and Mirlind Daku in second-half injury-time before the all-important opportunity fell to Gjasula. The former Hamburg player stroked home an equaliser in what used to be his home stadium to send the Albania fans into raptures.

Gjasula’s goal meant he became the first substitute in the history of the European Championship or the World Cup to come off the bench and score a goal and an own goal in a match.

After this rollercoaster of a game, against the odds, it is all to play for in Group B, and Spain certainly shouldn’t be looking at their clash with Albania as a guaranteed three points.

Our Opta match centre delivers you all the Croatia vs Albania stats from their Euro 2024 Group B clash at Volksparkstadion in Hamburg.

The match centre below includes team and player stats, expected goals data, passing networks, an Opta chalkboard and more. It gives you everything you need to do your own post-match analysis.

Underneath the match centre you can find the official Opta stats on the game as well. 

Croatia vs Albania: Post-Match Facts

  • At 94 minutes and 23 seconds, Albania’s Klaus Gjasula’s goal to make it 2-2 was the latest equalising goal scored in UEFA European Championship history (excluding extra-time).
  • Albania’s Klaus Gjasula became just the second player to score a goal and an own goal in a match at the UEFA European Championship, after Czechoslovakia’s Anton Ondrus against Netherlands in 1976.
  • Turning 33 years old today, Croatia’s Andrej Kramaric became the third player to score on his birthday at the UEFA European Championship, after Jean-Francois Domergue in 1984 and Wesley Sneijder in 2008.
  • There were just 147 seconds between Andrej Kramaric equalising, and Klaus Gjasula’s own goal putting Croatia 2-1 ahead. The Albanian became the first-ever substitute to score an own goal in a match at the UEFA European Championship.
  • Qazim Laçi has scored two goals in his last three appearances for Albania in all competitions, as many as he had in his first 26.
  • Croatia’s Luka Modric started his 15th game at the UEFA European Championship, with only Andrés Iniesta (16) starting more often among midfielders in the history of the competition. His 20 line-breaking passes were the most of any player in today’s match.
  • Croatia’s Luka Modric is now the oldest player on record (since 1980) to complete 100+ passes in a match at the UEFA European Championship (108 v Albania today, 38y 284d), and the oldest player on record (since 1966) to complete 100+ passes in a match at the FIFA World Cup (105 v Brazil in 2022, 37y 91d).
  • Croatia’s 67% possession figure is their highest ever recorded in a single match at a major international tournament (World Cup/EUROs).
  • This was the first match at EURO 2024 to see both teams score at least twice, while it was the first time Albania have scored more than once in a match at a major tournament.

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