European Championship newcomers Georgia held the Czech Republic to a 1-1 draw on 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 Czech goalkeeper Jindrich Stanek the wrong way with his spot-kick in the fourth minute of first-half stoppage time after a handball by Robin Hranac.

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, Vaclav Cerny scuffing the ball when it looked easier to score, and Adam Hlozek having a goal disallowed for handball.


Schick got the goal the Czechs 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 Czechs’ 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 counter-attacks 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.