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Czech coach rues lack of concentration in Croatia draw

3 minute read

GLASGOW, Scotland, June 18 (Reuters) - Czech Republic coach Jaroslav Silhavy bemoaned his team's lack of concentration early in the second half that allowed Croatia to equalise and secure a 1-1 draw in a Euro 2020 Group D match on Friday that they controlled in the opening period.

The Czechs moved to the brink of qualifying for the last 16 after Patrik Schick's first-half penalty ensured a point against the Croats, whose own knockout hopes will go down to the wire.

The result left the Czechs with four points from two games. They face England in their final group game at Wembley on Tuesday knowing a win would see them top the section while defeat would probably not be fatal.

"It is a very valuable point against a strong opponent and we will see if it will be enough," Silhavy told reporters. "We have to prepare for the last game so we're not celebrating yet."

The Czechs controlled the first half but Croatia were able to switch the momentum after the break when Ivan Perisic's superb shot levelled the score in the 47th minute, which earned Croatia their first point.

"I am sorry about the conceded goal which happened because we were not concentrating," Silhavy said. "They did a fast set piece and Perisic netted a goal which did not have to happen."

Silhavy said that in the second half the Croats regrouped and pressured the Czechs, who still had chances to work combinations and create opportunities after squandering possession in the opening period of the half.

"I was a little surprised that they didn't tackle us (in the first half), that they let us combine and we took advantage of it," Silhavy said. "If we had higher quality going forward we would have been more dangerous."

He also said he was unsure whether to let Schick take the penalty after his nose was bloodied but the players convinced him that the forward would manage.

"It was going through my mind that he should not take it but when I saw the whole squad saying, 'Come on, come on, bring him a clean jersey so he can take it', then I was calm knowing he was taking it," Silhavy added.

Reporting by Michael Kahn and Robert Muller, Editing by Ken Ferris

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