Patrik Schick scored yet another goal as Czech Republic successfully held Croatia to a 1-1 draw at Hampden Park on Friday.
Croatia’s European Championship campaign faced another setback on Thursday when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Czech Republic. The result does not bode well for the 2018 World Cup finalists who could be knocked out of the tournament, should they fail to win their last group game against Scotland.
It was a game of two halves as Czech Republic, coming on the back of a win over Scotland, produced a spirited attacking display in the first 45 minutes. They looked determined in possession, working out the Croatian backline on multiple occasions, although their breakthrough came through controversial means as Dejan Lovren was penalised for elbowing Patrik Schick inside the box.
The Bayer Leverkusen forward made no mistake in converting the resultant spot-kick, giving Czech Republic a 1-0 lead heading into half-time. The Lokomotiva, though, could not maintain their dynamic attacking presence after the restart, as the Croats slowly clawed their way back into the game.
Zlatko’s men were quick to restore parity when Ivan Perisic’s curled effort deceived Tomas Vaclik in the 47th minute. Croatia, unfortunately, did not manage to create any more clear cut opportunities as the opposition doubled up their defensive solidity.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over both Croatia and Czech Republic in their draw at Hampden Park this Friday.
Dominik Livakovic: 6/10
Despite the constant pressure in the first half, Dominik Livakovic didn’t have much to do apart from the Schick penalty which he failed to save. Had a quiet second half.
Sime Vrsaljko: 6.5/10
Sime Vrsaljko had a better game than he had against England. He was particularly important in the second half, making marauding runs into the final third, although he had to remain defensively cautious against Jakub Jankto.
Dejan Lovren: 6/10
Dejan Lovren was unlucky to be penalised for the foul on Schick. It was, nonetheless, the reckless performance from the former Liverpool centre-back.
— Kevin Hatchard 🎙⚽️ (@kevinhatchard) June 18, 2021
Domagoj Vida: 6/10
Speaking of reckless centre-backs, Domagoj Vida, too, had moments of his own. It was not the most polished from the veteran, but he was a bit more cautious than Lovren.
Josko Gvardiol: 7/10
Josko Gvardiol looked much better and comfortable in the left-back position after a horror game against England. He read the game very well while making useful runs forward.
Luka Modric: 7.5/10
Luka Modric played a critical role in Croatia’s transition play, as ever, moving the ball forward with ease. The veteran midfielder, though, should have operated in a more attacking role knowing his team’s lack of creativity upfront. He was, nonetheless, his team’s best performer.
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 18, 2021
Mateo Kovacic: 6.5/10
Mateo Kovacic was given a more robust role in the middle of the park when compared to Modric. Unfortunately, it did not suit him well and the Chelsea star certainly lacked the presence of a defensive-minded partner.
Josip Brekalo: 6/10
Josip Brekalo didn’t do a great deal apart from creating an excellent scoring opportunity for Ante Rebic. He was subbed off at half-time, which was a slightly surprising move by Dalic.
Andrej Kramaric: 6/10
Andrej Kramaric once again operated in a withdrawn role, with someone else leading the line for Hrvatska. Consequentially, the Hoffenheim star failed to influence the game, as he simply did not provide the creativity required.
Ivan Perisic: 7/10
Ivan Perisic didn’t have a particularly great first half, but it was his magic that helped Croatia level the scoring. Certainly among the more impactful Croatian attackers in the second half.
Only three players have scored at the 2014 World Cup, 2016 Euros, 2018 World Cup and 2020 Euros:
🇵🇹 Cristiano Ronaldo
🇧🇪 Romelu Lukaku
🇭🇷 Ivan Perišić
Xherdan Shaqiri is the only player that can still join them. pic.twitter.com/68u0ZVWS46
— William Hill (@WilliamHill) June 18, 2021
Ante Rebic: 4/10
Ante Rebic simply wasn’t good enough to be leading the line for Croatia. He missed a great scoring opportunity late in the first-half and was replaced at half-time, to no one’s surprise.
Luka Ivanusec: 6/10
Luka Ivanusec replaced Brekalo at half-time, moving in on the right flank to cause terror. He tried his best to make things happen but lacked the final product.
Bruno Petkovic: 5/10
Bruno Petkovic led the line for Croatia after replacing Rebic at half-time. He didn’t make the desired impact, however, and had an attempt blocked late in the game.
Nikola Vlasic: 6/10
Nikola Vlasic had an attempt on goal late in the game, but his shot went over the Czechia goalkeeper.
Marcelo Brozovic: N/A
A late replacement for Kovacic. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Tomas Vaclik: 6/10
Following a match-winning performance against Scotland, Tomas Vaclik had a quieter game against Croatia. Unfortunately, he was slightly culpable for the equaliser, as he should have done far fetter to keep Perisic’s relatively straight effort on goal.
Immediately just thought the pace on Perisic’s shot that beat Vaclik, and no doubt it was a great strike, but it’s not a great decision to go with fists like he does here imo. You’d think he’d gets more of a touch on the ball if he goes to palm away. pic.twitter.com/IPY9IwdWVq
— David Preece (@davidpreece12) June 18, 2021
Vladimir Coufal: 6.5/10
Vladimir Coufal was mainly culpable for the Perisic goal, keeping the former Bayern winger onside and later allowing him to have an attempt on goal. It was a massive dent to an otherwise faultless display at right-back.
Ondrej Celustka: 6.5/10
Ondrej Celustka had a quiet first half, but looked rattled as soon as Croatia started to up the ante after the restart. He did end up making as many as five clearances, though.
Tomas Kalas: 6.5/10
Tomas Kalas, too, had occasional difficulties keeping up with the opposition attack in the second half. The former Chelsea prodigy somehow managed to hang on for the point.
Jan Boril: 6.5/10
Jan Boril had a key part to play in helping Czech Republic launch attacks from wider areas of the pitch as he supported Jankto with sheer precision. Not much to do defensively, as Perisic (in the first half) or Ivanusec barely caused trouble.
Tomas Holes: 6.5/10
Tomas Holes was given the nod ahead of Alex Kral – a move that somewhat paid off, but largely due to Croatia’s own futility rather than the midfielder’s brilliance.
Tomas Soucek: 7.5/10
Tomas Soucek, on the other hand, produced yet another stellar display in the middle of the park. He was strong in his challenges while also spraying the ball all around the park. The West Ham star was always a threat from set-pieces as well.
Lukas Masopust: 6.5/10
Lukas Masopust had a busy first half as he attacked the channels in an attempt to craft goalscoring opportunities for Schick. His influence waned significantly after the restart, though.
Vladimir Darida: 6.5/10
Vladimir Darida yet again produced an excellent display in the number ten/number eight hybrid, putting pressure on the carriers with his willingness to press. The Hertha Berlin midfielder, though, lacked quality in possession and indeed in the attacking department.
Jakub Jankto: 6.5/10
Jankto caused a lot of problems early on by drifting infield, but much like Masopust, his influence faded after the restart. He was replaced by Petr Sevcik in the 74th minute.
Patrik Schick: 7/10
Patrik Schick didn’t actually have a great game as he struggled to find himself a clear cut scoring opportunity. However, the Leverkusen forward does deserve credit for scoring the penalty. He is now the leading scorer of the tournament with three goals.
"You know, SCHICK Republic" pic.twitter.com/gjlM8h4f9Q
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) June 18, 2021
Adam Hlozek: 6/10
Adam Hlozek tried adding more spice and trickery in the Czech Republic attacker after replacing Masopust around the hour mark but to no avail.
Alex Kral: 6.5/10
Alex Kral offered more freshness in Czechia’s second line of press after coming on for Holes in the 63rd minute. The midfielder notably attempted five duels, though winning just one.
Petr Sevcik: 6/10
Petr Sevcik replaced Jankto during the final phase of the game, adding more energy to Czech Republic’s first line of press.
Michael Krmencik: 6/10
Michael Krmencik came on for Schick during the final 15 minutes of the game. Did not find any goalscoring opportunity, though.
Antonin Barak: N/A
A late replacement for Darida. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.