By Izuchukwu Okosi

Czech rejoiceCzech Republic captained by Darijo Srna who only returned from his father’s funeral came from a two-goal down to hold Croatia in an entertaining 2-2 draw on Friday evening in Saint-Denis in the first of Group D matches for the day.

Ivan Perisic went on a great solo run and pulled the trigger from inside the box, beating Petr Cech with a strike into the bottom right corner to make it 1-0.

Domagoj Vida wasted a huge opportunity for Croatia five minutes later as he received a fine cross from a free kick and fired a decent shot from close range. But unfortunately for him, it sailed narrowly wide of the right post.

Croatia made it 2-0 and smelt victory as Marcelo Brozovic found Ivan Rakitic inside the box, who spotted goalkeeper Petr Cech off his line and cheekily lobbed the ball into the net.

With fourteen minutes left on the clock, Tomas Rosicky clipped a neat ball into the box in the direction of Milan Skoda who got on the end of it and steered a bullet header from the centre of the box and the ball went into the right side of the goal. Danijel Subasic had no chance of stopping that.
Referee Mark Clattenburg blew for a penalty kick as a clear handball by Domagoj Vida handed Czech Republic the chance to bounce back. Tomas Necid converted the spot kick with his brilliant shot into the roof of the net, giving the keeper no chance to react. 2-2.

Highlights of the game though will include fire crackers thrown onto the pitch by fans prompting a nine-minute period of added time.