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Euro 2024: The group stage´s lucky winners and unlucky losers

The Euro 2024 group stage is done and dusted.

Croatia were the biggest name to fail to make the knockouts, as they and Hungary were the two third-placed sides to miss out on the last 16.

Previous finalists Italy and England progressed along with the likes of hosts Germany, France, Spain and Portugal, though some nations were more fortunate to advance than others.

Here, we use Opta data to assess the unlucky losers and the lucky winners from the Euro 2024 group stage, both in terms of individual matches and the first phase of the tournament as a whole.

UNLUCKY LOSERS

Croatia

Let’s start with the tournament’s biggest expected goals (xG) underperformers so far… and the big-name casualty of the group stage.

Luka Modric became the oldest player to score at the Euros in the tournament’s history on matchday three, and that goal against Italy seemed to be sending Croatia through from Group B, only for Mattia Zaccagni to rescue the Azzurri late on.

That 1-1 draw condemned Croatia to third place. But they were highly unfortunate not to take more than two points.

They lost 3-0 to a rampant Spain on matchday one, despite accumulating 2.38 xG to La Roja’s 2.01. They then amassed 2.69 xG against Albania, only to concede late on in a 2-2 draw.

Indeed, Croatia finished with an accumulative xG total of 6.55, which leads the tournament, yet they only managed three goals.

Defensively, they can consider themselves unfortunate too. Croatia conceded six goals from an xG against (xGA) of 4.37, though their 15 shots on target faced does rank joint-fifth worst. Ultimately, Zlatko Dalic’s team allowed too many efforts on goal, and they paid the price for profligate finishing at the other end.

Czechia

Czechia finished bottom of Group F, with Georgia the surprise package as they stunned Por

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