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A point apiece for each team in low-key encounter
Czechs go ahead with Schick penalty, Perisic rocket fires Croatia level
Despite an emphatically dominant first half performance and a goal from the penalty spot converted by the ubiquitous Patrik Schick, the Czech Republic’s seemingly relentless march towards the later stages of Euro 2020 was thwarted by a spirited revival by Croatia and a ferocious equaliser from Ivan Perisic at a sun-drenched Hampden Park.
These contenders now divide their attentions between the Auld Enemies, with Scotland vs Croatia at the same venue on Tuesday, while the Czechs face England at the same time.
The opening stages were marked by a powerful surge from the Czechs, who seemed intent on securing their passage into the last 16 as briskly as possible, and within two minutes Vladimir Coufal, foraging on the edge of the Croatian box had a shot blocked in a move which yielded a corner kick, from which Tomas Soucek floated a header on to the roof of the net. A brief intermission featured a Croatian free kick, punted too high by Dejan Lovren and a corner kick which came to nothing, before the Czechs resumed their activity at the other end of the field.
The feeling that the Czechs were having trouble calibrating their sights was reinforced when Coufal, who was enjoying a remarkable amount of freedom to make his overlapping runs, pitched a cross into the path of Jakub Jankto, whose contribution was a swiped effort wildly high. Schick, to the incredulity of both supports, added to the profligacy when he moved to meet a cutback from the ubiquitous Coufal.
On this occasion, the man who set the Euros record for a goal from distance with his mighty lob from the halfway line against Scotland on Monday made a hash of his contact seven yards out and watched the ball trickle to safety. The Bayer Leverkusen striker, however, would soon have another highlight to add to his collection from these finals.
It came about in contentious fashion nine minutes before the break when he contested a high ball with Lovren inside the box. Lovren’s elbow, extended but not seemingly dangerously so, caught Schick on the nose and he crumpled to the ground amidst a spray of blood. A lengthy spell of treatment ensued and the Spanish referee indicated that Schick should leave the field, but the official also added to the Croatians’ consternation by signalling for a Var rerun.
After the fifth replay, Senor Grande awarded the Czechs a penalty kick and showed Lovren the yellow card. By this time the Croats had also seen the incident on the stadium screens and surrounded the referee to make vehement protests.
He was unmoved and Schick – who had never departed the proceedings and whose nose was stuffed with wads of lint – stepped up to strike his conversion decisively past Dominik Livakovic. Croatia bore their grievance into the dressing room for the restart and back out again, to judge by what looked like heated remonstrations to the referee as the teams re-emerged.
The Croats had their remedy, within two minutes of the second half. Perisic, pushing upfield on the left, came up against Coufal. The Czech right-back stood off his opponent, a serious error as it turned out when Perisic stepped inside to despatch a vicious drive which swept across Tomas Vaclik and into the net before the goalkeeper could react.
Perisic – along with Luka Modric, who had been unusually subdued in the opening 45 minutes – imposed himself upon the remainder of the proceedings and came close to securing a Croat victory with 11 minutes left to play when he headed a cross into the path of Bruno Petkovic, who mastered the ball, swivelled and shot on target only to watch in frustration as his effort deflected off Tomas Kalas and behind for a corner kick.
The final minute of action in an absorbing contest almost saw Croatia snatch the victory and Petkovic was again the spearhead as, once more, he was thwarted by Kalas throwing himself across a shot for a corner kick. Petkovic’s menace extended into injury time when he was felled, at the cost of a caution for Adam Hlozek, who then celebrated full time with his team mates as though they had reached the tournament final
England's team news is in...
As well as Scotland's of course. Head to our liveblog for tonight's main event from Wembley if you are that way inclined. Trippier loses out left-back but who makes it into the XI... and who misses out from the matchday squad.
FULL TIME: Croatia 1 Czech Rep 1
Modric over the ball... it's straight in this time, Kral heads away and the ref instantly blows his whistle for full time. Croatia get their first points but the Czechs will be a lot happier with that. Four points for them and with England next that might be enough for them.
It also means England winning this evening will see them through to the last-16.
90+2 mins - Croatia 1 Czech Rep 1
More of the same really... Croatia get a free kick just in the opposition half after Petkovic is fouled. Will they try another training ground routine?
90+1 mins - Croatia 1 Czech Rep 1
A minimum of three minutes added time. Can someone find a winner? I will say: nope.
89 mins - Croatia 1 Czech Rep 1
Into the final seconds of normal time. Might get three or four here. Croatia very close there but will the Czechs get a chance before the final whistle?
87 mins - Croatia 1 Czech Rep 1
Cannot say that this game will last long in my memory. That's football, though. So much at stake in tournament football and every game in a tournament cannot be worth watching. Two goals and a dash of controversy, though...
Aaaand just as I say that, Petkovic has a great chance on the turn 12 yards out... not hit cleanly, struck into the ground and blocked for a Croatia corner... Kalas doing the good work.
84 mins - Croatia 1 Czech Rep 1
Soucek, Darida, then Hlozek in for the Czechs but Perisic gets back to chest the cross back to the keeper – as cool as you like.
82 mins - Croatia 1 Czech Rep 1
A slip in the midfield allows the Czechs to break but a slip in their attack lets Croatia come right back at them. Petkovic wins a free kick and Boril a booking. A chance about 40 yards out, so unlikely to be a shot but a very good chance to get the ball in, bouncing about 10 yards out. Or something.
Nope. Wasted. Indirect. It is passed it straight to Modric who lofts in a ball but the Czechs clear comfortably.
79 mins - Croatia 1 Czech Rep 1
It has definitely become "bitty" or "niggly". Quite slow build-up play by the Czechs. Plenty sideways and backwards but not too much forwards...
77 mins - Croatia 1 Czech Rep 1
The game has drifted a little in the last 10 minutes. A few enthusiastic chants for Schick but he has no longer any influence on this match.
75 mins - Croatia 1 Czech Rep 1
Another two changes for the Czech Republic. Jankto off and Sevcik on in his place.
Krmencik on for Schick, who will not be adding to his three tournament goals in the remainder of the match.
72 mins - Croatia 1 Czech Rep 1
Plenty of fouls in this game. And here's another... Croatia get one deep in their own half and Modric starts the passage of play off as his team come again...
It ends with Vlasic with the ball at his feet 12 yards out.. but he can't get behind and over it properly and skews it wide. Could have done something else as it came in from the right, really...
70 mins - Croatia 1 Czech Rep 1
68 mins - Croatia 1 Czech Rep 1
Well, if it stays like this... would Croatia be happy? Maybe a little, after going 1-0 down. They face Scotland here at Hampden Park on Tuesday before the Czechs go to Wembley to face England. And if they favourites in those games win then they'd both be on four points and stand a reasonable chance of qualifying one way or another.
65 mins - Croatia 1 Czech Rep 1
It has been a much better half, goal or no goal. Czech Republic getting a bit more of a foothold in this game this half after a worrying first 10 minutes.
64 mins - Croatia 1 Czech Rep 1
Hlozek also replaces Masopust for the Czechs, it was a double substitution. What can the young 18 year-old Sparta Prague winger do?
Modric in with a late and crucial sliding tackle on the Croatian byline as Kral dithers over his cross. Czech corner.
Watch: Perisic fires Croatia level
Kral replaces Holes for the Czech Republic.
62 mins - Croatia 1 Czech Rep 1
Darida sends in a decent cross but Schick can't get over it and heads well over...
Vlasic off and Kramaric on for Croatia. Might be worth the Czechs making a change or two.
60 mins - Croatia 1 Czech Rep 1
Vrsaljko brings down Masopust five yards outside the left edge of the Croatian penalty box. A free-kick in a dangerous position for the Czechs, who probably just need to settle down a bit. It's in to Soucek at the near post but it's out for a corner.
59 mins - Croatia 1 Czech Rep 1
Night and day from Croatia in this half compared to the first. A changed side in more ways than one. Czechs totally passive now, Croatia highly active. Petkovic goes down in pain in the penalty box after a little scramble for the ball, think he just landed awkwardly.
56 mins - Croatia 1 Czech Rep 1
Ivanusec has a speculative shot which ends up nowhere near the goal.
53 mins - Croatia 1 Czech Rep 1
Croatia really on top in the opening seven or eight minutes of this half. The Czechs just trying to get a bit more control and the ball in this game, just to calm things down a bit. A draw wouldn't be a terrible result for them here, far from it. Won't want much more of the same in the second half, mind you...
51 mins - Croatia 1 Czech Rep 1
This has been a million miles better from Croatia this half. They look almost... dangerous? Could open up the game at the other end, too.
Soucek lets fly from far on the right, probably 28 yards out. Across the goalkeeper and never really going in but it wasn't too far from the post.
Croatia are level!
Pick that one out! A thunderous right foot from Perisic, who breaks free on the right, cuts back in past Coufal and smashes it across the keeper and into the top right corner from about 12 yards! Keeper could have done better there... seemed to try and double fist it away but couldn't make contact...
Croatia 1 Czech Rep 1
46 mins - Croatia 0 Czech Rep 1
Another neatly worked set-piece routine for Croatia. But it ends up with a 25-yard shot going well awry...
SECOND HALF: Croatia 0 Czech Rep 1
Two changes for Croatia – something needs to change for them. Brekalo and Rebic off and Ivanusec and Petkovic on. And we're under way again at a fairly sunny Hampden Park.
HALF TIME: Croatia 0 Czech Rep 1
Not a great first half but the Czechs won't mind. Croatia not too happy with the penalty decision but their fans have much to grumble about given the team's performance so far...
45+4 mins - Croatia 0 Czech Rep 1
Schick's attempt with his left foot is pretty woeful. If the goal were another 10 yards behind the actual goalline it might have been okay, though...
45+3 mins - Croatia 0 Czech Rep 1
Modric gives the ball away in a dangerous area. Schick picks the ball up 22 yards out, Kovacic looks to have put in a good tackle to stop him getting a shot away but the ref disagrees. And you know what, readers, he's right. A free kick to the Czechs 25 yards out...
45 mins - Croatia 0 Czech Rep 1
Three minutes of time added on for this half. Another foul in the middle of the pitch, Jankto gets one in the ribs, unintentionally again.
Watch: Schick puts Czech Republic 1-0 up
43 mins - Croatia 0 Czech Rep 1
Big task for Croatia now. Have been fairly impotent in attack again. Czechs haven't offered much more but they have offered more, for sure. And now they have a goal to show for it. World Cup finalists with two losses in their opening two games would not be a good look.
A brief moment of promise on the right from them here, but Czech Republic snuff it out before anyone can get a shot away. Kramaric then scuffs a long shot which Vaclik claims easily, down low to his right post.
41 mins - Croatia 0 Czech Rep 1
Vida on the floor now. Schick backs into him around the middle of the pitch and I'm not sure what's happened but he's taken a knock somewhere and gets a free kick.
39 mins - Croatia 0 Czech Rep 1
Rebic nearly hits back straight away! He gets the ball in the penalty box, left side... charges towards goal and has a swing with his left foot but it's a horrible slice from just eight yards out...
Schick goes off and comes on again after his injury and goal. A few spots of blood on his white shirt and I'm sure some fresh absorbent material up his nose.
Schick with his third goal of the tournament! Finds the net from the penalty spot, sending the keeper the wrong way.
Croatia 0 Czech Rep 1
34 mins - Croatia 0 Czech Rep 0
Oooh, the ref is having a look at this incident... potential penalty...
HE'S GIVEN A PENALTY!
Penalty to Czech Republic and a yellow card for Lovren...
Croatian defenders not happy about this, apparently. Taking a while to get the penalty taken. Think it will be Schick to take...
31 mins - Croatia 0 Czech Rep 0
Schick is down clutching his face after a Czech corner. He has a bloody head or nose after Lovren's elbow found its way there on his jump to head the ball away. Unintentional, I think... but that is going to hurt.
31 mins - Croatia 0 Czech Rep 0
I think Dion Dublin on BBC just compared this to a game of walking football...
I guess "pedestrian" is not an unfitting word.
29 mins - Croatia 0 Czech Rep 0
Not a great deal of urgency from either side but you suspect that is due to how they are set up. And, ultimately, a lack of quality. Lots of side to side passes at low pace so far. Hardly enthralling but neither dire. A middling game from two middling teams.
26 mins - Croatia 0 Czech Rep 0
Masopust breaks through the middle but the moves slows down but is not broken down. The Czechs knock it about in squares for the next 10 seconds as they try to find space... and fail. Gvardiol intercepts but Kramaric loses the ball and the Czechs come again.
23 mins - Croatia 0 Czech Rep 0
The sun comes out at Hampden Park and Croatia win another corner.
The game is getting a bit niggly, with Gvardiol getting a slight tap on his right boot and trying to win a penalty. Corner instead. It's short and worked into Rebic from Perisic. 15 yards out, space and time but it is along the ground and comfortably to the keeper.
21 mins - Croatia 0 Czech Rep 0
Ooooh, a clearance from the Croatian goalkeeper is chased down by Rebic... or rather he gets well in the way of it. The ball loops up and doesn't miss the goal by too much, but it would have been heart in mouth for Vaclik.
18 mins - Croatia 0 Czech Rep 0
That was the best chance of the game, by far! Jankto in with a low cross from the left, Coufal picks it up has time on the right to slide it across to Schick, free and 12 yards out but he fluffs it with his left foot... a golden opportunity for a man chasing the golden boot.
17 mins - Croatia 0 Czech Rep 0
It has been fairly open so far but with a lack of any real quality.
Better side? Pretty even, in fairness. Perhaps just Czech Republic.
14 mins - Croatia 0 Czech Rep 0
Jankto is at least seven yards offside but manages to flick it on without the assistant referee raising his flag, as is the case these days. The Croatian defenders look on a bit perplexed but it is eventually called.
12 mins - Croatia 0 Czech Rep 0
Czech Rep on another attack, this time on the right. A dangerous cross comes in, Lovren gets his head on it, to glance it away but only as far as Jankto . He has a swing 12 yards out with his left boot first time but it's a fairly hideous slice over and possibly wide.
10 mins - Croatia 0 Czech Rep 0
Lovren to take? Yes. Okay...
He curls it with the inside of his right boot, goalwards... the line is good but the length is not. A yard or two over the bar and no threat at all.
9 mins - Croatia 0 Czech Rep 0
Kalas fouls Rebic by climbing all over him and sticking a hand in his face. Probably 27-28 yards out, right in front of the goal... Modric looks interested, as does Lovren.
7 mins - Croatia 0 Czech Rep 0
Croatia with their first attack of the game, Perisic on the right fires in a cross but Rebic cannot get on the end of it. It is chested out for a Croatia corner, though. Modric sends in the cross from the left but Vaclik claims easily, uncontested.
5 mins - Croatia 0 Czech Rep 0
Jankto getting some joy on the left early on. He goes down but does not get a free kick.
4 mins - Croatia 0 Czech Rep 0
Croatia concede an early corner, the Czechs trying to make some of this early "dominance" pay. Soucek is there to meet the cross about seven yards out but it loops over the bar.
2 mins - Croatia 0 Czech Rep 0
A smattering of fans in Hampden Park, though enough for one set of fans to get a song going. Big stadium, so even 2-3,000 will seem like a small amount, in fairness. Czech Republic with the early ball as Darida has a shot blocked from about 22 yards out.
Czech Republic, in their white strip, get things going in Glasgow.
Here we go...
A reminder of the line-ups with 15 minutes until kick off
Patrik Schick's lob goal over David Marshall – a Scotland tragedy in five acts
I am certain we will be seeing Schick's wonder goal for a long time to come and certainly plenty over the next few weeks. Here, Thom Gibbs breaks it down, blow by blow.
Can he do it again today? Not a wonder goal but a goal, at least. He is tied first in the golden boot standings with two goals, albeit with seven others.
Hampden Park filling up now
Well, sort of.
In the earlier game today...
Sweden saw off Slovakia to take a big step into the knockout stages. Read the match report here.
Croatia will be hoping for some more of this magic
25 years ago this week...
The weather is looking a bit better in Glasgow than it is in London
But no – seriously; in fairness, weather anywhere in the UK can be awful at almost any time.
Lovren on what Croatia have to do
How did they get on on their first games?
Well, Croatia were on the losing side to England (1-0), Raheem Sterling's goal the difference between the sides. In reality, the difference was a bit more than that, though. Croatia did not look at the races at all, to mix my sporting metaphors.
And, of course, despite having to weather sustained pressure (but a lack of quality in front of goal) two goals by Patrik Schick (more on the second one later) dented Scotland's hopes of qualifying and gave the Czechs a big step into the last-16.
Fair to say that Croatia need the win more than the Czechs right now but it could still all go wrong for the Czechs...
And here is Croatia's starting XI
Which definitely needs to be spelled out as you can barely read it on this tweet below.
Starting XI: Livakovic; Varsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Gvardiol; Modric (c), Kovacic; Brekalo, Kramaric, Perisic; Rebic
The Czech team is in...
Starting XI: Vaclik; Coufal, Celustka, Kalas, Boril; Holes, Soucek; Masopust, Darida (c), Jankto, Schick
Subs: Mandous, Koubek, Kaderabek, Brabec, Barak, Krmencik, Sevcik, Zima, Hlozek, Vydra, Kral, Pekhart
Not a bad game the last time these two met at in a European Championship
Croatia searching for first Euro 2020 win
Croatia will be searching for a win against the Czech Republic today after the first match of their Euro 2020 campaign ended in defeat to England.
Modric, 35, has long been one of the world's best midfielders but was unable to assume command against England as searing temperatures and a lack of supply from his teammates saw him drop further and further back as the game went on.
Croatia's lack of attacking threat was at the forefront of Dalic's mind after his team's underwhelming performance at Wembley:
"It is completely clear to me that we are not good in attack. Against England, we were equal in many areas, except in the attacking phase," he said.
"It won't be easy against Scotland and the Czech Republic. We need a win to give us confidence."
Ante Rebic (AC Milan) and Bruno Petkovic (Dinamo Zagreb) are the two strikers tasked with providing Croatia's attacking threat. Petkovic in particular has been named by Dalic as the man responsible for assuming the mantle of Mario Mandzukic, whose extra-time winner was responsible for England's semi-finals exit at the 2018 World Cup.
"Petkovic has to be at Euro 2020 what Mandzukic was in Russia," Dalic added.
"He has shown that he is capable of leading the line but he has to be in top form. If not, Andrej Kramaric and Ante Budimir are the alternatives."
The gifted Petkovic has scored six goals in 14 appearances for Croatia, but began Sunday's game against England on the bench and made little impact when he took to the field at the 78 minute-mark to replace Rebic.
Dalic confirmed that "there will be changes" to his starting XI that faced England, before they lock horns with Scotland in their final group match in four days' time.
A renewed focus on attack will likely be the driving force behind the changes, and Modric will be hoping that his compatriots can find more ball to help him pull the strings today.