Schick Penalty puts the Czech Republic closer to Euro last 16
The Czech Republic moved further close to qualifying for the last 16 at Euro 2020 with an entertaining draw against Croatia at Hampden Park.
The Czechs opened the scoring through a controversial first-half Patrik Schick penalty, after referee Carlos del Cerro Grande checked the pitchside monitor and awarded the spot-kick for a Dejan Lovren foul on striker Schick.
Lovren, who missed Croatia’s opening-game defeat by England with a knee ligament injury, caught Schick’s nose with his elbow when the pair jumped to contest a corner.
Bayer Leverkusen forward Schick sent goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic the wrong way, finding the bottom left corner to become the first player to score three times in their first two European Championship appearances since Mario Mandzukic in 2012.
Croatia looked for an immediate response, but Ante Rebic blasted an effort high and wide from 10 yards out.
But Zlatko Dalic’s side sprung into life in the second half, with Ivan Perisic equalising two minutes after the restart with a fine individual effort.
A quickly taken Andrej Kramaric free-kick released Perisic down the left wing, before he burst into the box, cut inside Vladimir Coufal and fired past Tomas Vaclik.
Inter Milan winger Perisic is the first Croatian to score in four separate major international tournaments, with goals in the 2014 World Cup, Euro 2016, the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020.
Playing each other for only the second time at a major tournament after a 2-2 draw in the group stages of Euro 2016, the game was an end-to-end encounter that lacked quality chances, with just three shots on target throughout.
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 18, 2021
It is the first time since the 2006 World Cup that Croatia have failed to win both of their opening two games of a major international tournament.
The Czech Republic have never beaten Croatia in four attempts, but the result leaves Jaroslav Silhavy’s side top of Group D on four points, ahead of England on goal difference. Croatia sit third on one point, with Scotland below them on goal difference.
Croatia meet Scotland and the Czech Republic face England in the final round of Group D games, with both matches taking place on Tuesday at 20:00.