Czech Republic secured a 1-1 draw with Croatia at Hampden Park to top Group D on four points ahead of England's titanic battle with Scotland later on Friday.
After his heroics against Scotland, Patrik Schick grabbed his third goal of the competition with a coolly-taken penalty in the 38th-minute, controversially awarded after a VAR check, to give his side the lead and put him top of the goalscoring chart. Dejan Lovren - restored to the Croatia defence after recovering from a knee problem - caught Schick, leaving the Czech forward with a bloodied nose, but appealed that he was using his arms for leverage.
Ante Rebic spurned a chance to equalise immediately after but sliced his shot badly wide when through on goal, as the Croatians trailed at the break.
Euro 2020
Hayward: 'Distractions' helped make Sterling England's most influential player
06/07/2021 AT 11:45
However, Ivan Perisic levelled the scores just two minutes after the restart with the Croatian's first act of urgency, Andrej Kramaric releasing the Inter Milan star following a quickly taken free-kick and he carved inside before lashing home from the angle.
Croatia might have won the game with Nikola Vlasic rifling a shot agonisingly over the bar from inside the penalty area, but that's as close as either side came to a winner on a largely underwhelming evening in Glasgow.
The draw means Czech Republic are almost certainly through to the knockout stages of the competition, while Croatia, having picked up their first point, must now beat Scotland on Tuesday night to have any chance of making it out of the group.

Patrik Schick

Image credit: Getty Images

TALKING POINT - Croatia flatter to deceive and have work to do

The argument about whether Czech Republic should have been awarded the spot-kick will rage on, but there's no getting away from just how poor Croatia have been in the competition. Just three years after reaching the final of the World Cup, they have work to do to just make it through the group stages of the Euros. They might be defensively sound but gone are the days of Mario Mandzukic in attack and it's evidently clear that Zlatko Dalic is missing a vocal point.
When the groups were drawn, Czech Republic were not fancied to make it any further. But their tally of four points will almost certainly see them through. With the exception of the second half of this contest, they have shown attacking intent while showing a ruthless edge and their high-pressing has caused their opponents trouble. Progression will be their reward.

MAN OF THE MATCH - Ivan Perisic (Croatia)

It was a game of low quality with no standout player on show, but Perisic provided the highlight of the game with a quality moment to level the game.

PLAYER RATINGS

Croatia: Livakovic 6, Vrsaljko 6, Lovren 5, Vida 6, Gvardiol 7, Modric 7, Kovacic 6, Perisic 7, Kramaric 7, Brekalo 6, Rebic 5. Subs - Vlasic 5, Ivanusec 5, Brozovic N/A, Petkovic 6.
Czech Republic: Vaclik 6, Boril 6, Celustka 7, Kalas 7, Coufal 7, Soucek 7, Holes 6, Jankto 6, Darida 6, Masopust 6, Schick 7. Subs - Kral 5, Hlozek 5, Barak N/A, Sevcik 5, Krmencik 5.

KEY MOMENTS

35' - Penalty to Czech Republic! Jankto takes the corner short, exchanging a pass with Coufal before seeing his floated cross headed clear by Lovren. Play is then stopped to allow Schick to receive treatment for a bloodied nose after he was caught by Lovren. But wait, the referee is going to the screen to have another look at this... Is he going to give Czech Republic a penalty? Was there any intention from Lovren? It didn't look like it... THE PENALTY IS GIVEN! Yes, Czech Republic are going to have a golden opportunity to break the deadlock here and Lovren is handed a yellow card into the bargain. The incident is shown on the big screen and the Croatia players are absolutely livid with the decision, surrounding the referee, but he's not going to change his mind.
38' - GOAL! Croatia 0-1 Czech Republic (Patrik Schick, pen): That man Schick again! He makes no mistake, tucking the ball into the bottom corner after sending Livakovic the wrong way. Czech Republic, albeit in controversial manner, have the lead.
47' - GOAL! Croatia 1-1 Czech Republic (Ivan Perisic): Out of nothing, Croatia are level! And it's a stunning goal from Perisic! The free-kick is quickly taken and releases Perisic down the left, he drops the shoulder to carve inside and puts his laces through the ball. The goalkeeper should perhaps do better as his venomous shot hits the back of the net.
72' - Close! It's a chance for Croatia as Vlasic holds off his marker and gets a shot away from inside the penalty area but it's just a whisker over the bar.

KEY STATS

Euro 2020
Denmark continue fairytale run with Czech Republic win
03/07/2021 AT 14:58
Euro 2020
Pragmatism will bring football home - The Warm-Up
30/06/2021 AT 07:22