The Czech Republic have moved to within touching distance of securing a place in the Euro 2020 knockout stages after they claimed a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Croatia in Group D on Friday.
Jaroslav Silhavy’s side came into the contest at Hampden Park on the back of their impressive 2-0 victory over Scotland on Monday and Patrik Schick, who scored both goals in that game, grabbed his third of the tournament from the penalty spot during the first half to give the Czechs the lead.
The Bayer Leverkusen ace won the penalty himself after being fouled by Dejan Lovren, although the Croatian’s were not happy with the decision, with the spot-kick being awarded after VAR had advised referee Carlos del Cerro Grande to consult his pitch-side monitor.
Croatia could scarcely afford another defeat after losing to England in their Group D opener and they battled back to earn their first point of the tournament thanks to Ivan Perisic’s leveller early in the second half.
Zlatko Dalic’s side must now beat Scotland in their final group match on Tuesday (Croatia 19/20, Draw 11/4, Scotland 11/4 – Match Result) to remain in with a chance of reaching the knockout stages, while a point against England would be enough to guarantee the Czech’s progress (Czech 6/1, Draw 3/1, England 8/15 – Match Result).
In Friday’s early kick off, Sweden took a giant step towards qualifying for the knockout stages after Emil Forsberg’s second-half penalty helped them to a 1-0 victory over Slovakia in Saint Petersburg.
The 77th-minute strike came after substitute Robin Quaison was brought down by Slovakia goalkeeper Martin Dubravka in the penalty area and it was enough to see Sweden move top of Group E ahead of their clash with Poland next Wednesday (Sweden 6/4, Draw 9/4, Poland 2/1 – Match Result).
Slovakia also remain in with a chance of reaching the knockout stages, although they are likely to need at least a point when they take on Spain in their final group match (Spain 4/11, Draw 4/1, Poland 17/2).