Croatia 3-3 Czech Republic
Just as against Spain two days ago, Matija Capar equalised as flying goalkeeper to leave Croatia well placed in Group D.
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Just as against Spain two days ago, Matija Capar equalised as flying goalkeeper to leave Croatia well placed in UEFA Futsal EURO 2014 Group D.
Croatia, so impressive in holding Spain 3-3, had beaten the Czech Republic 5-4 to go through in Split two years ago, and led 2-1 at the break. Roman Mareš and Michal Belej scored early in a thrilling second half, but Capar had other ideas and the Czechs now need to beat Spain on Sunday or draw by four goals apiece or more.
Franko Jelovčić had an early shot stopped on the line by defender Jiří Novotný, but the Czech Republic responded with David Frič's strike just wide. Jelovčić then missed the target after a superb one-two on the break with Jakov Grcić, back from suspension. However, the Czech Republic broke the deadlock when Novotný stroked in a shot from the left.
Dario Marinović and Tihomir Novak, who both scored in the 2012 encounter, had efforts blocked, but the equaliser arrived in the next attack, Marinović setting up Jelovčić to beat Libor Gerčák at his near post. And Croatia were ahead before the interval as Marinović exchanged passes with Novak on the left and tapped in.
Mareš, whose brother Michal is missing the tournament through injury, levelled 30 seconds after the break, his near-post shot catching Ivo Jukić cold. Croatia were not disheartened and David Frič did well to intercept a Marinović effort on the line. But Frič then turned provider, combining with Michal Seidler to set up Belej.
Somehow, Jelovčić was unable to turn a Josip Šuton pass past Gerčák as play swung from end to end. Croatia conceded a sixth foul, and although Jukić stopped Michal Kovacs's first effort by encroaching, the second by Seidler was stopped legitimately.
That was the cue for Wednesday hero Maitja Capar to again don the flying goalkeeper jersey. And at virtually the same moment as he did against Spain, Capar made it 3-3 to leave Croatia in sight of the last eight.