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Georgia scores first Euro point with Czechia draw

Written by 
Published in Soccer
Saturday, 22 June 2024 10:30
Georges Mikautadze celebrates with Georgia teammates after scoring against Czechia.

Maryam Majd/Getty Images


European Championship newcomers Georgia held the Czechia to a 1-1 draw Saturday, taking a shock lead through a Georges Mikautadze penalty before an equaliser off the chest of Patrik Schick.

Saba Lobjanidze could have won it for Georgia at the death but blazed his shot over the bar after a breakaway and both sides, with one point from two games, need a win in their final Group F match to progress to the knockout stages.

In an intense and entertaining game at Hamburg's Voklsparkstadion, Mikautadze sent Czechia goalkeeper Jindrich Stanek the wrong way with his spot-kick in the fourth minute of first-half stoppage time after a handball by Robin Hranác.

The 23-year-old Mikautadze's second goal of the tournament sent Georgia's white-bedecked fans into ecstasy.

The goal came against the run of play after the Czechs had dominated, with Schick having two efforts well saved, Václav Cerný scuffing the ball when it looked easier to score, and Adam Hlozek having a goal disallowed for handball.

Schick got the goal Czechia deserved, however, in the 59th minute, steering the ball in with his chest after Ondrej Lingr's glancing header from a corner bounced off the post.

In a concern for the Czechia's next game against Turkey, Schick -- joint top scorer with five goals at the last Euros -- limped soon after his goal.

Portugal and Turkey were playing later in Dortmund in Saturday's other Group F game.

As in their opening match against Turkey, Georgia relied on stout defending and counterattacks against the Czechs, who are ranked 40 places higher.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia -- nicknamed "Kvara-dona" by fans in comparison with Argentina's great Diego Maradona -- was a constant threat while Anzor Mekvabishvili squandered a great chance on the break to give Georgia a 2-0 lead.

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