Czech Republic 2-2 Croatia: Dramatic Czech comeback made as off-field troubles flare up once again

Czech Republic came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 against Croatia at Euro 2016, with Croatia's fans letting themselves down in the stands.

Czech Republic 2-2 Croatia: Dramatic Czech comeback made as off-field troubles flare up once again
Croatia players appeal to their fans to stop the trouble (photo: Getty Images)
Czech Republic
2 2
Croatia
Czech Republic: Čech; Kadeřábek, Sivok, Hubník, Limberský; Plašil (Necid 86'), Darida; Skalák (Sural 67'), Rosický, Krejčí; Lafata (Skoda 67').
Croatia: Subašić; D. Srna, Vida, Ćorluka, Strinić; Badelj, Luka Modrić (Kovacic 62'), Perišić, Brozović, Rakitić; Mandžukić.
SCORE: 0-1, Perisic 37'. 0-2, Rakitic 58'. 1-2, Skoda 75'. 2-2, Necid 90+3.
REFEREE: Mark Clattenburg (ENG): Booked - Badelj, Sivok, Brozovic.
INCIDENTS: UEFA Euro 2016 Group D Fixture.

Croatia threw away the chance to make it two wins from two at Euro 2016, as they threw away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with the Czech Republic

Dominant throughout the first half, it was a surprise that it took as long as 37 minutes for Ivan Perisic to open the scoring for Croatia, with Ivan Rakitic the man who made it 2-0 in the second half. Milan Skoda pulled one back for the Czech's with 15 minutes to go, and Tomas Necid completed the comeback with an injury time penalty, after some crowd trouble.

Croatia dominant for 60 minutes

It was clear who the favourites were from the outset, and Mario Mandzukic had Petr Cech scrambling from a cross early on, eventually heading into the 'keeper's face, before coming close to an assist minutes later.

Breaking well down the left flank, he squared for Perisic, who was inches away from connecting with the ball. The attack stayed alive momentarily with the ball being cut back to Rakitic, only for the midfielder to blaze over. 

Given the way that Croatia were dominating the game, you'd have forgiven their coach, Ante Cacic, for thinking that they wouldn't need a spectacular goal to open the scoring, such as Luka Modric's against Turkey in their first game. 

Perisic with the first

However, a spectacular goal was what they got, as Ivan Perisic broke the deadlock towards the end of the first half. Taking the ball on the left side, Perisic executed a step-over before striking from the edge of the area, right into the corner of Petr Cech's net - leaving the goalkeeper with no chance. 

Perisic opened the scoring (photo; BPI / Michael Zemanek)
Perisic opened the scoring (photo; BPI / Michael Zemanek)

It could have been two before the whistle went for half-time, a case of too many cook's spoiling the broth as Vedran Corluka was blocked by teammate Domajog Vida when attempting to get to Rakitic's free-kick, eventually slicing the ball wide. 

Modric and Rakitic were running the show from centre midfield, and it showed in the statistics at half-time, Croatia's ten shots going against the Czech's nought. 

Still, the goals tally only stood at one, but that increased to two after less than 15 minutes in the second half. David Krejci had threatened with an overhead kick, only to see it easily saved, and his side go 2-0 down.

Rakitic shows his class

Roman Hubnik was at fault, giving the ball away to Marcelo Brozovic in a dangerous area, with the Croat quickly threading Rakitic through. Showing extreme composure in the box, the Barcelona playmaker dinked it over Cech to double the lead.

Rakitic showed his class with the second goal (photo; Getty Images)
Rakitic showed his class with the second goal (photo; Getty Images)

There was a little worry for Cacic soon after the goal, as Modric was forced off with a thigh problem. Still, it looked to be just a precaution as they were cruising, and his replacement wasn't too shabby at all - Mateo Kovacic coming on. 

Mandzukic could, and should, have sealed all three points as the ball broke kindly for him in the area, the striker snatching at the shot and blazing over. His afternoon wasn't going too well, compared to his teammates', and got even worse as he was denied a penalty for an alleged push in the back from Hubnik, who wasn't covering himself in glory either. 

Czech's back in it, before the game erupts for all the wrong reasons

The Czech side weren't giving up, and got themselves a goal with 15 minutes left to play. Tomas Rosicky's ingenious ball in was met by the head of Milan Skoda, the ball flying into the top corner.

Whilst the game was reaching it's climax, and exciting one as the Czech side chased a winner, more disappointing scenes were witnessed at the Championship, as the Croatian fans flew a number of flares and fireworks onto the pitch before fights broke out in their end.

Mario Mandzukic throws a flare off the pitch (photo; Getty Images)
Mario Mandzukic throws a flare off the pitch (photo; Getty Images)

The Croatian players went straight over and appealed for their fans to calm down, but the game was halted for quite some time, casting a sour note over an entertaining football match. 

Necid penalty shares spoils

It appeared that the events got to the Croatian players, as they threw away their lead in the dying minutes. Vida inexplicably handled in the box following a long ball hurled in, and substitute Tomas Necid made no mistake from the spot, hammering the ball down the middle of the goal.

That was that, following some lengthy stoppage time, leaving us with four goals in a game for the first time at Euro 2016, but with more disappointment in the stands.