Croatia v Czech Republic (Tactical Report)

Ivan Perisic and Ivan Rakitic made it 2-0 within 59 minutes and Croatia was on its way to the top of the group (before Spain’s win) but self-imploded as Milan Skoda and Tomas Necid, either side of a flare throwing incident, gave the Czechs a valuable point.

Tomáš Necid scores a penalty for Czech Republic and help his team snatch a crucial point.

Croatia would feel hard done by as it let a two-goal lead slip as Czech Republic snatched a point in a thrilling encounter that ended 2-2, marred by flare throwing by the Croatian fans. Ivan Perisic and Ivan Rakitic made it 2-0 within 59 minutes and Croatia was on its way to the top of the group (before Spain’s win) but self-imploded as Milan Skoda and Tomas Necid, either side of a flare throwing incident, gave the Czechs a valuable point.

That late equaliser, Necid’s penalty, will especially hurt the Croats as they dominated much of the game thanks to a midfield masterclass from both goalscorers and Luka Modric, and the team now faces possible UEFA sanctions for bad behavior from its fans.

They maybe arch rivals playing for Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively but the midfield duo of Rakitic and Modric pulled the strings from the middle of the park. They led an impressive Croatian attack, as the Czechs struggled to deal with the crisp passing and mount any sort of a response. The Czechs didn’t register a single shot on target in the first period.

Inter Milan winger Perisic put Croatia in front when he ran on to the loose ball from Milan Badelj's mistake and fired in an angled drive. Rakitic doubled the lead after the break when he dinked his shot over the onrushing Cech.

However, in the 75th minute substitute Skoda gave Czech a lifeline when he directed a brilliant header Necid restored parity in injury time.

Despite sharing the spoils, Croatia was definitely the better team with more possession (54%) and had more pops at the opposition goal (19 shots to Czech’s meager 7). While it’s difficult to pinpoint what cost Croatia the three points, fan trouble which forced a delay in the 86th minute, with the team leading 2-1 at that point, certainly hampered the Croats in the final few minutes.

And the distraction proved to be fatal as it conceded a needless penalty, Domagoj Vida handling in the area, and Necid obliged from 12 yards out.