Ivan Perišić earned Zlatko Dalić's side their first point after Patrik Schick's penalty put the Czechs in front.
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Ivan Perišić scored a fine equaliser to get Croatia up and running in Group D and deny the Czech Republic a place in the last 16.Croatia vs Czech Republic: as it happened, reaction
Match in brief
Tomáš Vaclík's save from Ivan Perišić was the only early chance of note, but the game burst into life when Dejan Lovren was penalised for a foul on Patrick Schick, who duly dispatched the resulting penalty for his third goal of the finals. Moments later, Ante Rebić threatened a quick response, but sliced wide with only the Czech goalkeeper to beat.
Ivan Perišić was not so profligate, however, rifling Croatia level just after the interval. Zlatko Dalić's side were rejuvenated and looked the more likely to prise a winner and first victory in Group D, yet Jaroslav Šilhavý's charges remained resolute to move on to four points in the section.
Star of the Match: Luka Modrić (Croatia)
"He was always trying to create by getting on the ball and playing forward passes when the opportunity arose. He put in a couple of crucial tackles."
Packie Bonner, UEFA Technical Observer
Elvir Islamović, Croatia reporter
This was definitely not one of the best Croatia performances ever, especially in the first half. Then, Perišić appeared at the most important moment. That goal gave confidence back to the team; they started to play better and managed to keep control for most of the second half. Although Croatia should be better than this, and it's obvious there are some issues in their play, the most important thing for them is that they didn't lose. They are still in contention for the knockout phase but will need to show much more than this against Scotland and hope it will be enough to win.
Ondřej Zlámal, Czech Republic reporter
The Czechs started well and worked hard in the first half in the positive style that earned them their passage to this tournament. Schick showed courage, taking the responsibility for converting the penalty kick after being fouled. Jaroslav Šilhavý's charges lost the lead when they were punished for a defensive lapse, but responded well, with a composed defensive display bringing qualification close.
Zlatko Dalić, Croatia coach: "At the end both teams deserved a draw. We had a bad start, we were slow and we were trying to set unnecessary pressure; we were not compact. But, after the goal, we played better. Everything is still in our hands."
Ivan Perišić, Croatia midfielder: "We are not playing well, simply not. I don't know the reason. We had a bad start to the match, we scored that goal later, but we have to show much more against Scotland."
Luka Modrić, Croatia captain: "There is a bitter taste after this match, as we didn't win. We entered the match really disorganised, but then we looked better in the second half. We scored that goal and we could have scored even more, but unfortunately we didn't win. Now, we have to defeat Scotland to go through."
Jaroslav Šilhavý, Czech Republic coach: "I must say I was surprised by how much possession we had in the first half. Our opponents did not press us that high and they let us play – we had some half-chances and scored from the penalty. I am sorry for the goal we conceded soon after the restart as it was caused by our loss of focus."
Patrik Schick, Czech Republic forward: "We were 1-0 up and wanted three points, but we have to respect Croatia's qualities. We take the point and we're happy with it. I would like to thank our physios who helped me regain my fitness."
Vladimír Coufal, Czech Republic defender: "I appreciate the result we have achieved. The draw is a fair result because both teams had chances. It's a pity we conceded the equaliser after I slipped; I didn't wear the right boots and Perišič was clinical and showed his shooting quality."
- Croatia have only kept one clean sheet in their last ten EURO final tournament matches.
- Perišić is the first Croatia player to score at four EURO/World Cup finals.
- Perišić's goal was his third at EURO final tournaments, matching the Croatian record set by Mario Mandžukić and Davor Šuker.
- Czech Republic, including Czechoslovakia, have scored their last 24 penalties (including in shoot-outs) at EURO final tournaments, after missing their first in 1960.
- Czech Republic have only failed to score in two of their last 16 EURO final tournament group stage matches.
Croatia: Livaković; Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Gvardiol; Modrić, Kovačić (Brozović 87); Perišić, Kramarić (Vlašić 62), Brekalo (Ivanušec 46); Rebić (Petković 46)
Czech Republic: Vaclík; Coufal, Kalas, Čelůstka, Bořil; Holeš (Král 63), Souček; Masopust (Hložek 63), Darida (Barák 87), Jankto (Ševčík 74); Schick (Krmenčík 74)