Croatia and the Czech Republic shared four goals in a memorable UEFA EURO 2016 encounter and now meet again in Glasgow.
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Hampden Park is the venue as Croatia and the Czech Republic meet on Matchday 2 for the second UEFA European Championship running, having played out a memorable draw at UEFA EURO 2016.
• The Czechs have already enjoyed success in Glasgow at UEFA EURO 2020, beating hosts Scotland 2-0 on Matchday 1 thanks to two goals from Patrik Schick (42, 52), the second a sensational long-range effort from just inside the Scotland half. Croatia, meanwhile, are looking for their first points of the tournament having gone down 1-0 to England at Wembley in their opening fixture.
• The teams met at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in Saint-Étienne on 17 June 2016, also in the second round of Group D matches. Initially it looked set to be Croatia's day thanks to goals either side of half-time from Ivan Perišić (37) and Ivan Rakitić (59), but the Czechs staged a memorable fightback in the final 15 minutes, Milan Škoda halving the deficit in the 75th minute before Tomáš Necid converted a penalty a minute from time after Domagoj Vida had been penalised for handball.
• Ante Čačić's Croatia nevertheless went on to finish first in Group D, while the Czechs under Pavel Vrba ended the section in fourth place behind Spain and Turkey, the draw with Croatia yielding their only point.
• Croatia have had the better of their two friendly encounters: W1 D1.
• The nations drew 1-1 in Casablanca in December 1996, Croatia winning 4-1 on penalties to lift the King Hassan II Cup.
• Croatia registered a 4-2 friendly win in Pula in February 2011 – the first time the Czech Republic had conceded four goals in a game. Croatia's Šime Vrsaljko made his international debut as a substitute in that fixture.
EURO facts: Croatia
• This is Croatia's sixth EURO; they have missed out just once since independence, at UEFA EURO 2000, meaning this is their fifth successive finals. They have twice reached the last eight and twice bowed out at the group stage.
• Croatia's UEFA EURO 2016 campaign was ended in the round of 16 by eventual champions Portugal, who were 1-0 winners after extra time. A team coached by Čačić had finished first in their section on seven points, ahead of defending champions Spain.
• Zlatko Dalić's side were Group E winners in qualifying for UEFA EURO 2020, picking up 17 points from their eight matches to finish three ahead of Wales.
• Having been eliminated by Portugal after extra time in 2016, the Matchday 1 defeat by England was only Croatia's second loss over 90 minutes in their last 15 EURO matches (W9 D4).
• Croatia's record in three previous matches at Hampden Park is D2 L1. Their most recent ended in a 2-0 FIFA World Cup qualifying loss to Scotland in October 2013; those are also their only previous games in the country.
• A Niko Kranjčar strike in a 1-1 friendly draw against Scotland in March 2008 is Croatia's only goal in Glasgow.
EURO facts: Czech Republic
• The Czech Republic have qualified for every EURO final tournament since Czechoslovakia split in 1993.
• They won the competition as part of Czechoslovakia in 1976 and reached the final in their first appearance as the Czech Republic in 1996, losing 2-1 to Germany.
• The Czech Republic also reached the semi-finals at UEFA EURO 2004 and the quarter-finals eight years later.
• In 2016, the Czechs finished bottom of their group having picked up one point from three games. Losses to Spain (0-1) and Turkey (0-2) sandwiched that 2-2 draw against Croatia. That was the only time they had avoided defeat – or found the net – in four EURO finals games prior to Matchday 1.
• Jaroslav Šilhavý's charges qualified for UEFA EURO 2020 as Group A runners-up behind England, who they beat 2-1 in Prague having gone down 5-0 at Wembley in their opening fixture. That was one of three defeats the Czechs suffered in qualifying, although five wins ensured they finished with 15 points, four above third-placed Kosovo.
• This is the Czech Republic/Czechoslovakia's eighth game at Hampden Park, with Matchday 1 marking their first victory there (D1 L5). The last visit before this tournament brought a 2-2 UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying draw away to Scotland in September 2011.
• The Czechs also won 2-1 at Celtic Park in a UEFA EURO 2000 qualifier, their sole success in Scotland before Matchday 1. Czechoslovakia went down 5-0 at Ibrox in a 1937 friendly, meaning their overall record in Glasgow – and Scotland – as Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic is now W2 D1 L6.
Links and trivia
• Have played together:
Andrej Kramarić & Pavel Kadeřábek (Hoffenheim 2016–)
• Bruno Petković and Mislav Oršić both provided a goal and an assist as Dinamo Zagreb beat Czech club Viktoria Plzeň 3-0 in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg on 21 February 2019.
• Nikola Vlašić has also found the net against Plzeň, although his penalty was not enough to prevent CSKA Moskva suffering a 2-1 home defeat in the UEFA Champions League group stage on 27 November 2018.
• Vlašić scored for CSKA Moskva in a 3-1 win at home to a Spartak Moskva side featuring Alex Král in a Russian Premier League derby on 13 September 2020.
• Milan Badelj and Dejan Lovren both scored for Dinamo Zagreb in a 3-3 UEFA Cup first round draw at Sparta Praha on 2 October 2008.
• Badelj's only Serie A goal for Genoa in 2020/21 was an added-time equaliser in a 2-2 draw on 20 February at home to a Verona side featuring Antonín Barák, who had provided an assist for the visitors' opening goal.
• Borna Barišić started both of Rangers' games in their 2020/21 UEFA Europa League round of 16 defeat by Slavia Praha, for whom Jan Bořil, David Zima, Tomáš Holeš and Lukáš Masopust all featured.
• Croatia's defeat on Matchday 1 – their first in an opening game at a EURO final tournament – was their eighth in 14 matches over the past nine months (W4 D2). Their two pre-UEFA EURO 2020 friendlies brought a 1-1 draw at home to Armenia on 1 June and a 1-0 away loss to Belgium five days later.
• Ivan Perišić scored Croatia's goal against Armenia on his 100th international appearance. He became the ninth Croatian player to reach the century, current captain Luka Modrić heading the all-time list with 138 caps.
• Joško Gvardiol made his senior international debut as a half-time substitute against Belgium and also started the UEFA EURO 2020 opener against England. He was one of three squad members – together with Luka Ivanušec and Domagoj Bradarić – who played in Croatia's 2-1 defeat by Spain in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship quarter-final on 31 May. It was Ivanušec's late penalty that took the game into extra time.
• There are reigning domestic league champions in Zlatko Dalić's UEFA EURO 2020 squad from no fewer than eight European countries. In addition to five players from 2020/21 Croatian double winners Dinamo Zagreb – Gvardiol, Ivanušec, Dominik Livaković, Mislav Oršić and Bruno Petković – the Croatia coach has at his disposal the following newly-crowned title winners: Šime Vrsaljko (Atlético de Madrid, Spain), Perišić and Marcelo Brozović (Internazionale, Italy), Bradarić (LOSC Lille, France), Borna Barišić (Rangers, Scotland), Dejan Lovren (Zenit, Russia), Josip Juranović (Legia Warszawa, Poland) and Domagoj Vida from Turkish double winners Beşiktaş.
• Furthermore, there is a current UEFA Champions League winner in the squad – Chelsea's Mateo Kovačić.
• Croatia's squad also has considerable major tournament pedigree, with 131 appearances in UEFA European Championships and FIFA World Cups between them. There are 13 survivors from the squad that Dalić led to the 2018 World Cup final, nine of whom had also been on duty at UEFA EURO 2016 – Brozović, Kovačić, Modrić, Perišić, Vida, Vrsaljko, Milan Badelj, Andrej Kramarić and Lovre Kalinić.
• Modrić is appearing at his fourth successive EURO, Badelj, Perišić, Vida and Vrsaljko at their third. The Croatia captain moved ahead of Darijo Srna at the top of the country's all-time EURO appearance charts, qualifiers included, to 48, with his appearance against England and needs two more outings at UEFA EURO 2020 to not only join Srna on a record 12 for the final tournament but also to reach another personal milestone of 100 appearances in competitive internationals.
• The Czech Republic's 2-0 win against Scotland ended a four-match winless run at the EURO finals, giving them their first victory since they defeated Poland 1-0 on Matchday 3 at UEFA EURO 2012.
• Patrik Schick's double was only the third for the Czech Republic at a EURO final tournament, after Vladimír Šmicer in 2000 and Milan Baroš in 2004, who both scored twice against Denmark. Schick's second goal was struck from a distance of 49.7 metres, the furthest out in EURO finals history.
• That spectacular strike was Schick's 13th international goal and his third in two internationals, the Bayer Leverkusen striker having also opened the scoring in a 3-1 win against Albania in Prague on 8 June, in which Lukáš Masopust and Ondřej Čelůstka also found the net. That victory ended a three-match winless run for the Czech Republic, who four days earlier had crashed to a 4-0 defeat against Italy in Bologna – a game in which Michal Sadílek came off the bench to make his international debut.
• There has been a major overhaul of the Czech squad in the five years since UEFA EURO 2016, with just three players remaining from that tournament in France – captain Vladimír Darida, goalkeeper Tomáš Vaclík and defender Pavel Kadeřábek. Another player with EURO finals experience is striker Tomáš Pekhart, who was a squad member alongside Darida in 2012. No member of this year's squad had ever scored a EURO finals goal until Schick's double against Scotland.
• There are five players in Jaroslav Šilhavý's selection from the Slavia Praha side that went unbeaten domestically in 2020/21, winning the Czech league and cup double, and also reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League – Masopust, Jan Bořil, Tomáš Holeš, Petr Ševčík and David Zima.
• Pekhart was also a Polish league title winner in the season just concluded with Legia Warszawa, topping the Ekstraklasa scoring charts with 22 goals, while fellow striker Michael Krmenčík spent the first half of the season with prospective Belgian champions Club Brugge before moving to PAOK, with whom he won the Greek Cup, scoring the late winner in the final against champions Olympiacos.
• Sparta Praha's 18-year-old striker Adam Hložek, the youngest member of Šilhavý's squad and a substitute against Scotland, was the joint top scorer in the 2020/21 Czech Liga with 15 goals.
• Former Slavia players Tomáš Souček and Vladimír Coufal were both instrumental in helping West Ham United finish sixth in the Premier League to secure a place in next season's UEFA Europa League group stage.