Glasgow, June 19 (IANS) The Czech Republic and Croatia drew their European Championship Group D match 1-1 in Hampden Park in a game that was always tense, but never quite caught fire in the penalty areas.
The result means the Czechs have almost assured a place in the last 16, while Croatia need to beat Scotland in their final group game to qualify.
The key moment in the game came in the 33rd minute when Dejan Lovren caught Czech striker Patrik Schick in the face with a swinging arm as the pair jumped for a corner. The incident left Schick bleeding badly from his nose and after consulting with the VAR, referee Carlos del Cero Grande pointed to the penalty spot.
Schick picked himself up, wiped some of the blood from his face and sent Dominik Livankovic the wrong way from the penalty spot to give his side a lead.
Ante Rebic had the chance to draw Croatia level moments later when he found space to the left of the Czech area, but he sliced his effort well wide.
Croatia made two changes at halftime with Luka Ivanusec and Bruno Petkovic coming on, with Rebic one of the players replaced and they were soon level. Andrej Kramaric took a free kick and Ivan Perisic cut inside from the left before fizzing a right foot shot past Tomas Vaclic in the Czech goal.
Nikola Vlasic came on to give more bite for Croatia, for whom Luka Modric was belying his 35-years with a busy display, which at times saw him more involved in defence than in attack.
Vlasic volleyed over after Perisic had chested the ball down for him, but with the clock ticking down, there was a feeling that neither side considered a draw to be a bad result, as it would leave the Czechs with four points and Croatia with one, but a relatively accessible match against Scotland still to play.