Capar: Repeat performance extra special

After yet again saving Croatia with a late equaliser as flying goalkeeper, Matija Capar explained why it was extra special to deny the Czech Republic, who rued their mistakes.

Flying goalkeeper Matija Capar told UEFA.com that it was an “incredible feeling” after his dramatic equaliser to earn Croatia a point against the Czech Republic that keeps their hopes of qualifying from Group D alive, while Roman Mareš remained upbeat and vowed his side will “enjoy” their crunch meeting with Spain.

Matija Capar, Croatia flying goalkeeper
We didn't win. The draw is good for us, because [the Czech Republic] now play against Spain, and we are through unless it finishes 4-4 or 5-5. I don't know what will happen if Spain and the Czech Republic do draw 4-4, but we had a lot of luck against Spain.

The feeling is incredible because on the bench, everybody went: "Believe, believe, believe, you are going to score." Five years ago we lost to the Czech Republic in qualifying in Ostrava: they scored three seconds before the end. Somewhere in my mind was "three seconds, three seconds, three seconds" and when it was the draw, I said: "I want the Czech Republic; it was not fair how they beat us."

Today, the coach said I was not going to play flying goalkeeper, but [Dario] Marinović picked up an injury and I played. This was God's plan, I think! That I played again and scored the goal, it meant a lot for our team.

[Compared to his goal against Spain] we played the same sort of movement; we don't stay in one place. Again I was in the right place at the right time and Franko [Jelovčić] put in a pass for me and I scored.

It didn't always go well in the game – they scored and maybe it was my fault, I don't know. But we believe, and we have a good team spirit because we are young. Two years ago, we were fourth in Europe and we believed we were a better team than the Czech Republic but we knew the Czech Republic are a team that have nine lives, like a cat. They came back from 2-1, and to equalise was an incredible feeling for me.

I hope maybe [Sunday's game ends] 2-2, then we will finish top. But I hope we go through and I don't care where we finish – first or second – only that we go through.

Marin Smoje, Croatia assistant coach
It was a really great game. I want to congratulate the Czech Republic; they played really well. We saved ourselves and we are really happy about it. [Capar] saved us, and we did expect it in a way: we had worked on all those tactics all this time. He is our saviour, and we thank him.

Dario [Marinović] is going to be fine. He has a small injury; we will work on it, but he already feels better so he will be prepared for the coming games. Now we have to wait for Sunday. In a way we will cheer for Spain as they are a better national team, but we feel we are already there.

Tomáš Neumann, Czech Republic coach
It was a crazy match. We were ahead, then Croatia were ahead, then we were ahead, and finally Croatia scored an equaliser. We made a lot of mistakes. It is unbelievable in this tournament. We made a big mistake, Croatia exploited this error and scored, and in the second half we started very well. We scored twice, but in the last ten minutes we did not play active futsal and, although we had chances, we didn't score. I think our main chance was the double penalty [which was saved] – it is a pity. We wanted to win, but it finished 3-3 and now we must prepare for Spain.

Roman Mareš, Czech Republic forward
Our start wasn't good. It was our first game in this Futsal EURO. Then we scored and we were feeling more comfortable. We conceded twice, but after the break we got two – but we still had to score one more goal, and we were not able to. We saw the [Croatia against Spain] match and we were able to prepare for their tactics in this match. Our coach Neumann did a good job in readying us.

Libor Gerčák, Czech Republic goalkeeper
I think it was a very attractive match for the fans to watch. We saw a lot of good chances and a very dramatic conclusion. We played very well but luck was not with us; we conceded the goal at the end. We made many mistakes and that was the main factor in this match – our mistakes.

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