For the Czechs, this was a pleasant result. They struggled to stay in touch with the much fancied Croatian midfield and even their defense was looking more vulnerable than what it already was. But just when things looked out of control. Substitute Milan Skoda reduced the deficit with a brilliant header. They received a lifeline in the dying minutes when Domagoj Vida handled in the penalty area and Tomas Necid smashed home the leveler.
Croatia are still in good position to qualify for the next round along with Spain from Group D. The thin hopes of Czech hang on the possibility of being one of the best third-placed teams.
Player of the game
Modric was always going to be the mastermind of all Croatian attacks and he proved the same once again. Ironically it was not his presence but his absence that makes him a star player. It was only when Modric was substituted – as a precaution – did the Czechs come back. So much for influence!