Date: June 17, 2016
Result: Czech Republic 2-2 Croatia
Czech Republic: Milan Skoda 75, Tomas Necid 90+3 (pen)
Croatia: Ivan Perisic 37, Ivan Rakitic 58
Venue: Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Etienne
Croatia will rue the squandering of two points and the part played in it by their own supporters. Ivan Perisic ended a spell of sustained pressure by putting Croatia ahead eight minutes before the interval and it came as no susprise when the impressive Ivan Rakitic doubled the lead just before the hour mark.
There seemed no way back for the Czech Republic, but the departure, through injury of Luka Modric robbed Ante Cacic’s side of their key player. Nonetheless, it was against the run of play when Pavel Vrba’s side pulled a goal back via a header from substitute Milan Skoda.
The game was turned on its head late on when play was halted briefly after Croatian fans threw flares onto the pitch. Shortly after the restart, the ball struck Domagoj Vida’s hand and referee Mark Clattenburg pointed to the spot. Tomas Necid hammered home the resulting penalty to provide a point for the Czech Republic they scarcely deserved.
Two-nil up and seemingly cruising, things were looking rosy for Croatia, until Luka Modric, the game’s outstanding performer, fell to the ground. Coach Ante Cacic took the precaution of withdrawing him, but Croatia’s stranglehold on midfield disappeared with the Real Madrid man’s departure.
Man of the match:
Luka Modric ran the show for Croatia and it was no coincidence that his side’s grasp on the game weakened when he left the pitch through injury shortly after the second Croatia goal.
Matter of fact:
Croatia captain Dario Srna started the match, despite his father dying during the team’s 1-0 win over Turkey on Sunday.
With Croatia leading 2-1 the game was temporarily suspended when flares were thrown on to the pitch from the their end of the ground. Shortly afterwards, while referee Mark Clattenburg counsulted with Uefa officials about how to proceed, fighting broke out between rival groups of Croatian supporters. Eventually order was restored but shortly afterwards, Vida gave away the penalty which Necid duly converted.
Czech Republic: 7
Attempts on target
Czech Republic: 4
Czech Republic: 2
01 Petr Čech (G)
02 Pavel Kadeřábek
05 Roman Hubník
06 Tomas Sivok
08 David Limberský
10 Tomas Rosický (C)
13 Jaroslav Plašil (7 Tomas Necid 85′)
19 Ladislav Krejčí
20 Jifi Skalák (18 Josef Sural 67′)
21 David Lafata (21 Milan Skoda 66′)
22 Valdimir Darida
Starting line-up: 4-1-4-1
Čech – Kadeřábek, Hubník, Sivok, Limberský – Plašil – Rosický, Darida, Krejčí, Rosický – Lafata
23 Danije Subašić (G)
03 Ivan Strinić (02 Sime Vrsaljko 90+8′)
04 Ivan Perišić
05 Vedran Ćorluka
07 Ivan Rakitić (13 Gordon Schildenfeld 90+7′)
10 Luka Modrić (8 Mateo Kovacic 62′)
11 Dario Srna (C)
14 Marcelo Brozović
17 Mario Mandžukić
19 Milan Badelj
21 Domagoj Vida
Starting line-up: 4-2-3-1
Subašić – Strinić, Ćorluka, Vida, Srna – Modrić, Badelj – Brozović, Rakitić, Perišić – Mandžukić
Czech Republic: Sivok 72
Croatia: Badelj 14, Brozovic 74, Vida 90+3
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Eng)