TSchechiens striker Patrik Schick jumped with his teammates in the fan curve, Croatia’s players around Luka Modric left the lawn of Hampden Park in frustration. With a blood-smeared nose, the Bayer Leverkusen attacker shot the Czechs towards the round of 16 at the European Football Championship and put the 2018 World Cup runner-up, who remained without a win, even more in trouble. Schick scored 1: 1 (1: 0) on Friday in Glasgow with his third tournament goal from a penalty kick (37th minute) to take the lead, which the former Bundesliga professional Ivan Perisic (47th) equalized.
“I firmly believed that the penalty would be won,” said Schick after the final whistle and added with a beam: “I had tampons in my nose and couldn’t breathe, but somehow we made it.” The draw helps the Czech Republic (4 Points) significantly more than the generally honest Croatians, who only have one point on their account and have to win the final group game against Scotland.
“It’s bitter that we didn’t win. The first half was one of the worst we have played in a long time, “said Modric, demanding:” We have to play much better in the next game and beat Scotland to progress. “
Inspired by the 2-0 opening win against the Scots, the Czechs did not holed up on the defensive, but played courageously forward from the start. The favored Croatians seemed surprised by the offensive direction of the opponent and found it extremely difficult to stage creative attacks. The former Frankfurt Ante Rebic, who acted as a striker, was largely in the air. Andrej Kramaric from the Bundesliga club TSG 1899 Hoffenheim was not a factor at all and was replaced in the second half.
Unlike the Czechs, who played a lot on the wings and brought the Croatian defense into trouble one or the other time. The best chance in the early stages was Schick (18th), who scored in the Scotland game from over 50 meters. The Leverkusen striker didn’t hit the ball fully, so Croatia’s goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic had no trouble.
The first shot on goal for Croatia was Perisic after 23 minutes following a corner. The harmless attempt of the midfielder, who previously played for Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and VfL Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga, did not pose any problems for Tomas Vaclik in the Czech goal.
After a few minutes of idling, the Croatians caused the next upset – albeit involuntarily. After a corner kick, defender Dejan Lovren met Czech striker Schick with his elbow in the face in a dogfight. According to the video images, referee Carlos Del Cerro Grande from Spain decided on a penalty, which Schick safely converted after a short treatment with a bleeding nose.
Only 120 seconds after the well-deserved Czech lead, Croatia had a huge chance to equalize quickly. But Rebic, who is now earning his money at AC Milan, shot wide of the gate from close range.
Much better aimed shortly after the restart Perisic, who hit the far corner after a quick free kick from the left position. However, the Czechs were unimpressed and remained the more active team. Tomas Soucek (52nd) tried from distance, but just missed the goal. A Schick header (61st) was also not precise enough.
The Croatians were better in the game than before the break, but were hardly dangerous. Only a shot by substitute Nikola Vlasic (72nd), which went past by a few centimeters, caught the Czech’s breath for a moment. Overall, however, the team, peppered with many first-class individualists, presented a largely disappointing performance.