Italy and Croatia played to a 1-1 draw in the first Group C match of Thursday. The result has its positives and negatives for both sides and only time will tell who this game will favor as each country approaches its next game.
Both teams still have a chance of making it to the next round. Putting aside the fact that Italy should have closed out the game with a victory, a draw is still a better result for them than it is for Croatia.
Italy's next opponent is the Republic of Ireland while Croatia faces Spain. The Italians will be expected to win their game, but the same can't be said for Croatia.
Regardless of whatever result Spain gets against Ireland today a win is expected, and the Spaniards will still be going full throttle in their last game as to ensure first place in the group.
Should they win and be tied with Croatia on points they will not settle for a draw.
While the Croats certainly have the talent to pull off a draw at the very least, they have less chance of getting their desired result against the Spaniards.
Though the pressure will be on Italy to get the win, they will have some semblance of calm knowing that Croatia faces an even more difficult task against the reigning European and world champions.
Judging by the performances of both teams, the results against their next opponents should go as expected.
It was a tale of two halves in this game, but Italy had chances throughout even as Croatia pushed on throughout the second half.
If the Italians can be more consistent and carry their superb first half performance through a full game, they will get their required result.
Croatia did not look too great in the first half, and while they were stronger in the second, they still presented Italy with opportunities. If they do the same against Spain, the result could be very different.
Both sides still have a lot to play for, but considering the task each is presented with in the next round, Italy stands a better chance of moving on.