Euro 2016: Czech Republic vs Croatia… Live

by | Jun 17, 2016

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Ian June 17, 20164:55 pm

Good afternoon everybody, here’s this afternoon’s teams:

Czech Republic: Cech; Kaderabek, Sivok, Hubnik, Limbersky; Plasil; Rosicky, Skalak, Krejci, Dorida; Lafata.

Croatia: Subasic; Srna, Corluka, Vida, Strinic; Modric, Badelj; Brozovic, Rakitic, Peresic; Mandzukic.

Ian June 17, 20164:57 pm

Apologies for the cursory nature of that opening, but there’s a thunderstorm of biblical proportions going on directly overhead and I’ve just had to walk back from work, which has required a thorough desoaking.

Mark June 17, 20165:01 pm

Thunderstorms in Chessington too. Only just got to this page of the site via 94 Error 503s.

Ian June 17, 20165:03 pm

So, if anything, this fixture evokes memories of twenty years ago this summer. Czech Republic and Croatia were both making their debuts that summer in England, and Czech Republic reached the final that time around, only losing the final to a golden goal to Germany.

Just to make you all aware, the internet is playing up here too at the moment, so you may lose me altogether.

Mark June 17, 20165:04 pm

Most annoying bit of commentary for me so far was Mark Lawrenson taking the **** out of Jonathan Pearce during the Ireland game for doing some, y’know, research. Well, I am Lawro-esque researched for this. Except that both nations can supply clubs for the inevitable reboot of the much-missed (by 200% at least) Mitropa Cup.

Ian June 17, 20165:06 pm

A flurry of corners from Croatia in the early stages, but none of them come to anything.

Actually, there’s a good chance that the internet is creaking all over the world today because the new series of Orange Is The New Black has been released by Netflix.

Mark June 17, 20165:07 pm

The BBC’s Steve Wilson appears to be sponsored by a charity to ask co-commentator Kevin Kilbane if he remembers Croatia’s 3-1 win over Ireland in Euro 2012. If he asks Kilbane many more times, expect a sharp crashing noise and Kilbane as main commentator until full-time.

Mark June 17, 20165:07 pm

And the answer is yes. We ALL remember Steve…

Mark June 17, 20165:09 pm

Croatia making the better start. Hard to know from the Czechs’ opening game whether this is to be expected or not. The Czechs were as inadvisably defensive against Spain as Northern Ireland were against Poland.

Mark June 17, 20165:11 pm

Oh. And a word on Italy beating Sweden. HAHAHAHAHAHHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ian June 17, 20165:11 pm

Nice moment for those amongst us who like things going very mildly wrong, as the referee decides that the ball isn’t quite fully inflated and requests a replacement.

Mark June 17, 20165:12 pm

I’d imagine the Swedes are thinking much the same about their team at the moment.

Mark June 17, 20165:13 pm

Sweden have now produced more televised “f**k offs” (one, John Guidetti after about 75 minutes today) than shots on target.

Mark June 17, 20165:15 pm

Mark Clattenburg is the referee…so is inevitably the commentary box’s man of the match at the moment. Mind you, the refereeing this past week has been far less annoying and officious than is usual for major international tournaments.

FA happening in the match, as you may have gathered.

Mark June 17, 20165:18 pm

“Definitely a problem with the balls.” notes Wilson (insert your own Robbie Savage commentary jokes here), as another one goes ever so slightly “phut.”

Ian June 17, 20165:19 pm

A Croatia win would be good news for all the other teams chasing third place, as it would leave Czech Republic only able to get a maximum of three points from the group stages. I haven’t really started looking at the logistics of those four third placed finishes, but with the margins of victory in matches being as narrow as it is, I wouldn’t be surprised if qualification for somebody came down to goals scored or even – shudder – the drawing of lots.

Mark June 17, 20165:21 pm

The number of bookings was a tie-breaker at a recent African Cup of Nations, which provided much more excitement than the football in one of the groups.

Mark June 17, 20165:22 pm

All Croatia, Czech keepr Petr Cech not helping by providing plenty of chances for Arsenal fans to have flashbacks when the ball is crossed in high.

Ian June 17, 20165:23 pm

I quite like that idea, though I think I’d prefer lot-drawing. They could dress it up like the national lottery draw, with light entertainment. And possibly a blue comedian.

Mark June 17, 20165:24 pm

Only saw the highlights of both these teams’ opening games (Lawrenson-esque research, remember?). But judging by them, both these teams are playing EXACTLY the same way here. Would be a medium-sized surprise if Croatia needed a late winner…

Ian June 17, 20165:27 pm

They do look a little like reflections of each other in a muddy puddle, at the moment.

Mark June 17, 20165:28 pm

Not many bouncing Cezchs behind the goal Croatia are attacking, even though they are getting a close-up view of 80% of this match. Three corners while I’ve been (mis)typing this… Not many shots, though.

Mark June 17, 20165:30 pm

Steve Wilson seems surprised that Croatian football legend Davor Suker is in the crowd. “Top, top player,” notes Kilbane, the sort of insight which makes you glad you paid your licence fee…

Ian June 17, 20165:31 pm

You know, there’s both an Italian person and a Swedish person on my team at work and the match was on the television there this afternoon. I spent half of it trying to get them to lob plastic furniture at each other, but no dice. Apparently, these continental types don’t go in for that sort of thing.

Mark June 17, 20165:32 pm

They just don’t get it, these foreigners. Behaviour like that from Swedes is EXACTLY why we should leave the EU…er…

Mark June 17, 20165:34 pm

Wilson trying hard to make Iceland v Hungary sound like tomorrow’s big match (ITV have the Ireland game). Although the two sides are probably among most neutrals’ favourites.

Ian June 17, 20165:34 pm

(“I’ll throw a plastic chair at you” has become my default response to anybody I disagree with over the last week or so, by the way. I reckon it’s worth a try – if enough of us ridicule it, it might go away*)

*It almost certainly won’t

Mark June 17, 20165:35 pm

It’ll be an Olympic sport first.

Ian June 17, 20165:36 pm

Well, the only other sport into which we’ve put similar resources over the years has been cycling.

Mark June 17, 20165:36 pm

Still smiling at Frankie Boyle’s tweet last week, marvelling (to paraphrase) at England’s poor finishing against Russia when their fans are so good at hitting French coppers with plastic chairs from 30 yards.

Mark June 17, 20165:37 pm

Meanwhile, Croatia ruin our chair chat with the opening goal.

Mark June 17, 20165:39 pm

Rakitic produced a good save from Cech a minute ago and Perisic’s left-foot drive ends the next attack by hitting the back of the old onion bag. That’s been on the cards sine…well…about Tuesday. First of many, I’m guessing. My neck is NOT currently being stuck out.

Mark June 17, 20165:41 pm

Mind you, the Czechs nearly respond immediately by winning a penalty. Clattenburg sees nothing. If Alex Ferguson is sober and watching, he’ll be nodding sagely at that.

Ian June 17, 20165:41 pm

Agreed, and Perisic was allowed to carry the ball a very long way and shoot without anything like a challenge crossing his path. This has been very comfortable for Croatia, so far, and this match feels as though it could be the first in which a team scores more than two goals.

Mark June 17, 20165:43 pm

“Corluka and Vida…too many cooks,” notes Wilson, as another Croatian chance goes begging, destroying one of the players’ hopes of a Masterchef gig after the tournament.

Ian June 17, 20165:44 pm

Yes, I heard the “too many cooks” reference, there. So, that’s our half-time entertainment sorted out, then.

Clicky woo

Mark June 17, 20165:46 pm

At the risk of straying slightly from political correctness (gone mad), the usual ratio of attractive women-to-hideous Nazi skinheads among the Croat support is pleasantly reversed.

Ian June 17, 20165:45 pm

Yes, I heard the “too many cooks” reference, there. So, that’s our half-time entertainment sorted out, then.

Too Many Cooks

Mark June 17, 20165:48 pm

Clattenburg does a mini Clive Thomas by blowing the half-time whistle as Croatia prepare to blow another corner. But the Croats need not worry. Gary Lineker spends a minute telling us that the Czechs haven’t had a shot. We know. Good half from Croatia. “Ireland-2012” half from the Czechs.

Ian June 17, 20165:48 pm

Yes, I heard the “too many cooks” reference, there. So, that’s our half-time entertainment sorted out, then.

Clicky woo

Mark June 17, 20165:54 pm

Normally the analysis of such games includes a warning that the well-beaten team “can’t be that bad again” (see Sweden on Monday…grrrrrrrrrrr…). I just do not have that feeling about the Czech Republic. Only the “live-bloggers’ curse” can save them now.

Mark June 17, 20165:58 pm

Not as irritated as usual by the punditry at this tournament, although that’s partly because I’ve avoided much of it. Even Christian Karembeu isn’t THAT annoying when talking about the game in general regardless of the specific incident he’s being asked about. Is it just me?

Mark June 17, 20165:58 pm

Mind you, Alan Shearer…

Mark June 17, 20166:01 pm

Here we go again. Croatian fans destined to get a better view of proceedings from here on in.

Mark June 17, 20166:05 pm

Wilson theorises that a Czech hiding in this match would mitigate against them being a “best third-placed” qualifier. He’s probably right, although I remember a twice-hammered Guatemala making the last 16 of an Under-20 World Cup (2011?) by winning their last game 1-0, with their only shot, against…Croatia. Funny old game, arithmetic…

Mark June 17, 20166:06 pm

Will Croatia “rue” all these missed half-chances and unconverted good positions? No.

Mark June 17, 20166:09 pm

The Czechs have an attack. The world flips on its axis… Krejci has a…SHOT ON TARGET. Sweden, en masse, starts crying…

Mark June 17, 20166:11 pm

Blimey. This could be a good second half if the Czechs start “joining in” like that. Meanwhile, Clattenburg’s version of “letting the game flow” appears to centre on ignoring three fouls in four. Fun beckons. Czech corner!!! But they’ve wasted it before I could finish typing “Czech corner!!!”

Mark June 17, 20166:13 pm

Of course, this could give Croatia a chance to show that they ARE the “good counter-attacking side” that it says on the posters.

Mark June 17, 20166:15 pm

2-0. Rakitic.

Mark June 17, 20166:17 pm

A giveaway. Rakitic seems uber-keen to give Srna the credit for the pass which allowed him to dink the ball over the on-rushing Cech. But the move was started by a misplaced defender’s pass. (Misplaced pass AND defender). Even if I knew who it was, I probably wouldn’t say…

Mark June 17, 20166:19 pm

Modric subbed, just in case a knock he took could turn into a proper injury. Confidence from Croatia. NOT misplaced.

Mark June 17, 20166:22 pm

Corluka’s “hat” (protecting a first-half injury) is likened to a “water polo hat” by Wilson. Looks like its made of paper to me…and made by a junior school art class pupil…and NOT by one of the pupils destined for art school. On second look, we could both be right. Doubt Corluka will have much heading to do this side of 6.45, though.

Mark June 17, 20166:24 pm

Mandzukic blazes over when presented with a semi-sitter by more misplaced defending. Mandzukic’s tournament is quicker and quicker resembling Robert Lewandowski’s for Poland.

Mark June 17, 20166:27 pm

“Clash of knees and everything in there” says Kilbane over a slo-mo of a 50-50 tackle which leaves both players on the deck. Vida’s “everything in there” are his, ahem, junkleclunks (copyright Andy Zaltzman). A new euphemism coined there by the most Yorkshire Irishman since Mick McCarthy.

Mark June 17, 20166:31 pm

Wilson leaves us tantalisingly short of info on how the “best third-placers” are calculated. “Points, then goal difference, then goals scored…” he says before drifting away. “Blue comedian” etc… (Ian 5.23pm) still seems like the best idea I’ve heard.

Mark June 17, 20166:31 pm

WTF: Sub Milan Skoda scores. 2-1!!!!!

Mark June 17, 20166:33 pm

And, more remarkably, from a Tomas Rosicky cross. “Out of context” doesn’t begin to describe it. Good cross, great header. 14 minutes left. Woooh.

Mark June 17, 20166:34 pm

Croatia probably wishing they could sneak Modric back on under Corluka’s “hat.”

Mark June 17, 20166:35 pm

Wilson correctly cites the Keystone Cops as the ball fizzes around the Czch penalty box, by-passing Mandzukic about five times. And Rosicky makes another accurate pass. ANYTHING could happen here now…

Mark June 17, 20166:37 pm

Brozovic shoots just wide for Croatia as “normal” service momentarily resumes. 81 minutes.

Mark June 17, 20166:38 pm

The Uefa stats man has discovered two first-half attempts on goal by the Czechs. The madness continues…

Mark June 17, 20166:40 pm

I’m now being told that the Czechs created quite a few chances from the scraps of possession they managed against Spain. Beginning to see how.

Mark June 17, 20166:41 pm

Perisic to Brozovic. Deflected wide. Great break. 85 minutes.

Mark June 17, 20166:43 pm

Striker Tomas Recid comes on for the newly-hope-filled Czechs. “Uefa are very hot on flares,” notes Wilson, as a couple hit the penalty area from the Croat end. He apologises for the pun WAY too late. Players being brought to the centre of the pitch as the smoke billows out.

Mark June 17, 20166:46 pm

“Mark Clattenburg has handled this quite coolly and calmly” (Wilson). Of course he has. Meanwhile, the Croat flare-throwers appear to be getting pelters from fellow fans. A “suspended disqualification” awaits?

Mark June 17, 20166:48 pm

I just don’t get pyrotechnics at football. Celtic have had big recent problems with it. And Celtic fans are bitterly divided on the issue.

Mark June 17, 20166:50 pm

Penalty to Czech Republic!!! Handball. Necid scores from the spot. 2-2 and no-one is really sure how much stoppage time there is.

Mark June 17, 20166:51 pm

And my PC battery falls flat..

Mark June 17, 20166:53 pm

Wilson blames the Croat pyrotechnics. I almost hope they played a part

Mark June 17, 20166:56 pm

On 98 minutes the Czechs get their first two corners of the match. THEY…COULD…WIN…THIS…

Mark June 17, 20166:57 pm

But they don’t. Croatia should still qualify. But the mental scars may last for a bit.

Mark June 17, 20167:01 pm

Just seen a replay of one of the flares landing inches from Mandzukic. What the serious f**k? Vincent Kompany suggests that a Czech point is somehow justice for the pyrotechnics. And you sort of agree. Lineker clearly thinks about an inappropriate “flair/flares” pun to end matters……………..and then decides, yes, that would be a good idea. I’m guessing he’s regretting it already.

Mark June 17, 20167:03 pm

2-2, then. The tournament’s biggest drama by a distance-and-a-half. No wonder my PC’s battery gave up. Sorry if that led to even more confused posts at the end. Spain v Turkey coming up. I’m off for a lie down