Much-changed Spain knock Albania out of Euro 2024

Spain changed almost their entire line-up and still kept up their unbeaten start to the European Championship with a 1-0 win over Albania, who were eliminated from the tournament.

With his team already assured of winning Group B, coach Luis de la Fuente changed 10 of his starters and Spain won all three group games at a Euros for the first time since 2008, when they won the tournament.

A 13th-minute goal from Ferran Torres and goalkeeper David Raya's stoppage-time save from Armando Broja ensured Spain completed the group stage without conceding a goal.

Albania needed at least a draw to have any hope of qualifying for the knockout stages for the first time. The loss meant they placed last.

Albania's failure to beat Spain meant England, France and the Netherlands were all assured of qualifying for the knockout stages.

All of those teams are on four points from two games and would qualify at least as one of the best third-place teams.

Spain got the job done, but the 1-0 win was far less convincing than the victory by the same margin over Italy in their last game. Defender Aymeric Laporte was the only player to start both.

For much of the first half, Spain seemed on course for a big win, but missed good chances.

Albania didn't record a shot until the 45th minute, but started to put pressure on Spain in the second half.

Forward Broja came off the bench and forced a good save from Raya.

De la Fuente responded by sending on forwards Alvaro Morata and Lamine Yamal off the bench as Spain started to waste time where possible.

Broja tested Raya again in stoppage time as Spain held on.

Italy's Mattia Zaccagni.
Italy's Mattia Zaccagni scored a stoppage-time goal to earn a 1-1 draw with Croatia in Leipzig. (AP PHOTO)

In Leipzig,  Italy substitute Mattia Zaccagni scored in the last minute of stoppage time for Italy to advance to the knockout stage after a 1-1 draw with Croatia.

Luka Modric's second-half strike looked like sending Croatia through as the Group B runners-up, but Zaccagni swept a brilliant shot inside the far post in the eighth minute of added time to cap a furious finale from the defending champions.

Italy needed a point to progress, while Croatia realistically needed a win to stay in the tournament. The Croatians have two points from their three games and were at the mercy of other results to see if it was enough to scrape through as one of the best third-place finishers.

Italy will next face Switzerland in the round of 16 on Saturday in Berlin's Olympiastadion, where the final is on July 14.

Modric scored 33 seconds after having a penalty saved by Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma to become the oldest goal-scorer ever at the tournament.

At 38 years, 289 days, Modric broke the record held by Ivica Vastic, who was 38 years, 257 days when he scored for Austria against Poland at Euro 2008.

After Modric's penalty miss, Croatia immediately attacked again and Donnarumma had to save a shot by Ante Budimir. Modric pounced on the rebound in the 55th minute.

Alessandro Bastoni headed just over in response as the Italians suddenly found themselves in need of a goal. Defeat could have seen the defending champions knocked out depending on results in other games.

Modric turned his skills to defence until he went off to standing ovations in the 80th minute.

But Italy maintained their pressure and it finally paid off at the last possible moment with Zaccagni's curling shot.