Two late goals dampen Croatia spirits as Czech Republic rescue draw

Two late goals dampen Croatia spirits as Czech Republic rescue draw
Photo: VAVEL UK

Thank you for following this live commentary of Czech Republic - Croatia at Euro 2016. Keep following VAVEL.com for all the latest news, whilst next up we have Spain - Turkey.

FULL-TIME: Croatia go two goals up through Perisic and Rakitic, but throw it away from two late goals by Skoda and Necid.

90+3' GOAL for Czech Republic! Necid with the equaliser from the spot.

90'2' PENALTY for Czech Republic! 

86' Play is currently stopped after flares from the Croatia end have been thrown on the pitch. They'll be implications on this.

76' Lifeline for Czech Republic! Rosicky picks the ball up, and with the outside of this foot, the former Arsenal playmaker crosses the ball, finding Skoda, who leaps above his marker and heads beyond Subasic. Game on! 

GOAL! Czech Republic 1-2 Croatia (Skoda, 76)

66' Huge chance for Mandzukic, but the Juventus was unable to find the net from 15-yards. Croatia could have been the only team to score three in a match so far at Euro 2016. 

Rakitic lofts the ball over Cech | Photo: AFP
Rakitic lofts the ball over Cech | Photo: AFP

60' That was a beaufitul goal from the Barcelona man. A delightful chip over Cech, but awful defending from Czech Republic.

GOAL! Czech Republic 0-2 Croatia (Rakitic, 60).

46' Croatia get this game back underway

Perisic opens the scoring | Photo: Getty
Perisic opens the scoring | Photo: Getty

Croatia very much the team on top in the first 45 minutes. Perhaps they'll be unhappy going into the break just one goal ahead, but Czech Republic have failed to create anything of note, and Rosicky has been quiet. 

HALF-TIME: Czech Republic 0-1 Croatia (Perisic, 37)

37' Perisic with the goal for Croatia, and it's no less than they deserve. Beautiful left-footed strike from the Inter player across Cech's goal.

GOAL! Czech Republic 0-1 Croatia

37' CHANCE for Croatia. How have they not scored yet? Great play from Rakitic who cut inside, before forcing Cech into a save.

27' Croatia get their sixth corner of the game.

25' Midway through the first-half, and Czech Republic have failed to test Subasic in the Croatia net. Cech on the other hand has been the busier of the two goalkeepers.

21' It's amazing how quick a game can turn. Croatia very much now on top. Brozovic finds Mandzukic down the left, who cross for Perisic, but the Inter forward is unable to stretch for the ball.

20' Three crosses put in quick succession from Croatia. Cech called into action again. 

18' We're now onto our fourth ball after the match. Mark Clattenburg isn't happy with the pressure of them.

16' Czech Republic have survived the first barrage of attacks from Croatia. Very much settling down into this game now.

6' Brozovic, Rakitic and Modric really are a tremendous trio to watch.

2' Czech Republic under pressure in these early stages. Two quick corners from Croatia, both of which are cleared.

1' KICK-OFF! Czech Republic get this game underway kicking from right-to-left.

Croatia have won seven, and drawn one of their last eight games. This is going to be a tough game for Czech Republic.

We're moments away from kick-off here in Saint-Etienne for Czech Republic - Croatia. Keep following VAVEL.com for live updates, and follow our social media channels.

Luka Modric scored the only goal against Turkey | Photo: AFP
Luka Modric scored the only goal against Turkey | Photo: AFP

Croatia of course won their opening game against Turkey, with a beautifully struck volley from outside the area from Modric.

Darijo Srna will today captain Croatia just five days after the passing of this father. 

Darijo Srna

Croatia XI: Subašić; D. Srna, Vida, Ćorluka, Strinić; Badelj, Luka Modrić, Perišić, Brozović, Rakitić; Mandžukić.

Czech Republic XI: Čech; Kadeřábek, Sivok, Hubník, Limberský; Plašil, Darida; Skalák, Rosický, Krejčí; Lafata.

The Czechs too have a fully fit squad, with team doctor Petr Krejčí telling UEFA: "The bruises are only on our souls," following the heart-breaking loss to Spain. They will certainly be keen to bounce back today then.

Croatia's other concern was Darijo Srna, who returned to his homeland after their last outing to attend the funeral of his father, Uzeir, who died after the 1-0 win. However, he has returned to France and will be available for selection today.

Vedran Ćorluka (right) was able to train this week after recovering from a blow to the head. (Photo: CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images)
Vedran Ćorluka (right) was able to train this week after recovering from a blow to the head. (Photo: CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images)

He will therefore be delighted to hear that he has a full squad available for the game, despite some concerns. Vedran Ćorluka, who battled on admirably against Turkey despite a nasty blow to the head, was one doubt for the game - and with no surprise, given the amount of blood seeping through his makeshift bandage in the game. However, after powering through that to help his side keep a clean sheet, he was able to train this week with his team.

However, it is the favourites for the clash that come across as the most fearful, with Croatia coach Ante Čačić telling the press: “I’ve always been telling you that this match against Czech Republic is the one I fear the most.”

The Czechs as a whole will be looking to put disappointment behind them and to instead take the positives into this clash with one of the competition's dark horses. This will be the first time these two meet competitively, with their two friendly encounters ending in a win for the Croats and a draw.

Speaking to UEFA this week, the recipient of that chance, Vladimír Darida admitted that he "could've put it closer to the post" but that he "wasn't in the best position for shooting, so sadly the ball went straight down the middle." However, he is looking to put the opportunity missed behind him, saying: "I have to focus on the other two games. We still have everything in our hands."

For the Czech Republic, it was devastation. They faced the holders of this competition, Spain, in their opener and saw their sturdy and defiant back line breached with just moments to go. It was on 87 minutes that Gerard Pique headed home to steal the win, but there were positives for the Czechs - the way they defended in particular, but also the fact that they created chances; the best of which came in stoppage time, but it could not be converted to equalise.

For Croatia, it was elation. They defeated a Turkey side littered with stars by a narrow 1-0 scoreline thanks to a star of their own - Luka Modric. The Real Madrid midfielder was the difference in the game, striking home a simply stunning volley to give his nation the three points in a tight and well-contested affair.

These two come into the game off the back of contrasting results last time out, in their opening fixtures at these finals in France.

Hello and welcome to VAVEL UK's live minute-by-minute coverage of this evening's Euro 2016 clash between the Czech Republic and Croatia. These two Group C rivals will face off at 5PM sharp at the Stade Geoffroy Guichard, Saint-Etienne, but be sure to stick around for build-up and team news beforehand.