Georgia 1-1 Czechia: Patrik Schick scores equaliser from close range after Georges Mikautadze opened the scoring with a penalty as both sides are left waiting for their first win at Euro 2024

  • Patrik Schick scored Czechia’s equaliser in their 1-1 draw against Georgia
  • Georges Mikautadze’s penalty had put Georgia in the ascendancy 
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‘Put on a good show’. That was the message from Georgia boss Willy Sagnol ahead of their clash with Czech Republic. And didn’t they just.

In fact, the minnows competing in their first European Championship are quickly cementing their spot as the great entertainers of this tournament.

They were brave and a captivating watch in their group opener against Turkey before the gulf in class eventually told and they fell to a 3-1 defeat.

You wondered whether the scars of that loss might deter them here. It was an energy-sapping, emotional bow at the Euros after all. Not easy for Sagnol to rally his troops and go again.

But, for 50 minutes or so, that is exactly what they were able to do. It briefly looked as though they would be rewarded for another eye-catching, front-foot display, this time against the Czechs.

Patrik Schick celebrates after he scored the equaliser for Czechia against Georgia

Schick found the net from close range as Czechia came from behind to secure a point

Schick found the net from close range as Czechia came from behind to secure a point

Georges Mikautadze celebrates after his penalty put Georgia in front against Czechia

Georges Mikautadze celebrates after his penalty put Georgia in front against Czechia

MATCH FACTS 

Georgia: Mamardashvili, Kverkvelia, Kashia, Dvali, Kakabadze, Kochorashvili, Mekvabishvili, Tsitaishvili, Davitashvili, Kvaratskhelia, Mikautadze

Goal: Mikautadze 45 (pen.)

Booked: Kashia, Mekvabishvili, Gvelesiani 

Czechia: Stanek, Holes, Hranac, Krejci, Coufal, Provod, Soucek, Jurasek, Cerny, Hlozek, Schick

Goal: Schick 59 

 

Fortune seemed to be on their side too. First, VAR ruled out Czech Republic’s opener from Adam Hlozek, who looked to have given his side the lead in bizarre circumstances when his shot was saved by Giorgi Mamardashvili and rebounded onto his head before dropping into the net. The technology showed that in fact the final touch had come from Hlozek’s hand.

Georgia were given another helping hand by VAR on the stroke of half-time. Captain Guram Kashia squandered a great chance after being denied by the feet of Czech Republic goalkeeper Jindrich Stanek from close range.

But further inspection revealed the ball had clearly struck the arm of Robin Hranac on its way through to Kashia and so referee Daniel Siebert pointed to the spot.

Mikautadze showed impressive composure from the spot as he put Georgia ahead

Mikautadze showed impressive composure from the spot as he put Georgia ahead

Adam Hlozek thought he had put Czechia in front but his goal was disallowed for handball

Adam Hlozek thought he had put Czechia in front but his goal was disallowed for handball

Hlozek's effort ended up in the back of the net but it was not allowed to stand

Hlozek’s effort ended up in the back of the net but it was not allowed to stand

Georgia's Saba Lobjanidze missed an inviting opportunity in the closing stages of the game

Georgia’s Saba Lobjanidze missed an inviting opportunity in the closing stages of the game

Georges Mikautadze made no mistake from the spot and was soon hoisted into the air and over the shoulder of a relieved Kashia.

But ultimately this test proved to be a step too far. Credit to the Georgians, who never stopped running or gave in. But for most of the second-half, Sagnol’s men were running on empty. It became a game of attack versus defence.

They manage to rebuff most of the Czech advances but it was at set-pieces where they looked most vulnerable.

And it told when substitute Ondrej Lingr headed Vladimir Coufal’s delivery onto the post, leaving Patrik Schick with a simple tap-in to become his nation’s leading goalscorer at the Euros.

Schick was forced off soon after with a calf injury, but that didn’t stop his team-mates from pushing on for an equaliser.

Yet it was Georgia who so nearly won it fives minutes into injury time after profiting from their opponents’ gung-ho approach.

Watford’s Giorgi Chakvetadze led a blistering counter-attack, three Georgian attackers to only one Czech defender, before laying it on a plate for Saba Lobjanidze.

Thousands of expectant Georgian fans rose behind the goal. Lobjanidze could only send them ducking for cover after side-footing the ball over the bar.

Lobjanidze was inconsolable, but the hopes of the lowest-ranked team in the tournament are still alive and kicking.

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