A late penalty by Tomas Necid rescued an unlikely 2-2 draw for the Czech Republic against Croatia at Euro 2016 Friday but the match was overshadowed by violence in the Croatian fan block.

With four minutes remaining in St Etienne, the referee Mark Clattenburg interrupted the game to clear firecrackers thrown by Croatian fans from the pitch. A banner showing a message was held up and several skirmishes - seemingly involving only Croatians - broke out.

Necid smashed home an emphatic 90th minute penalty following Domagoj Vida's handball to complete a comeback from two goals down which was started by Milan Skoda's header. Earlier Ivan Perisic and man of the match Ivan Rakitic had put Croatia in a commanding position.

Croatia have four points from two games before their final game against Spain on Tuesday, while the Czechs, who meet Turkey, have one.

"I would be careful using the word miracle, I think we managed to get one point which was very important for us," Czech coach Pavel Vrba said of the comeback. "We'll play for evertyhing in the last match, that's positive."

UEFA confirmed disciplinary proceedings will be opened against Croatia on Saturday for the behaviour of their fans in the latest problems which have plagued the tournament.

"These are terrorists, sports terrorists and they do what they want to do," Croatia coach Ante Cacic said. "These are hooligans, not supporters."

Cacic added that the majority of Croatian fans would be "ashamed" about what happened and said the hooligans could belong to the same right-wing groups which caused problems in the home and away qualifying matches with Italy.

Several firecrackers or flares were thrown onto the pitch and one seemed to explode just as a steward was attempting to collect it.

Fights broke out among the Croatian fans as some stewards tried to restore order but the police were not involved.

Russia have already been handed a suspended disqualification from the tournament after their supporters caused problems while city centres across France have also seen violence from English and German fans.

On the pitch, prompted by midfielders Rakitic and Luka Modric, Croatia dominated proceedings and wasted various chances before opening the scoring.

Modric was leaving most of the creative work to others but sparked a huge cheer from the Croatian fans in the Stade Geoffroy Guichard with a delightful nutmeg of Vladimir Darida.

A lovely flick from Rakitic to one-two with Mario Mandzukic created space for a shot saved by Cech and at this stage a goal felt inevitable.

It arrived moments later but Czech central defender Tomas Sivok will wonder why he allowed Perisic to progress almost unchallenged before he fired across Cech and into the bottom corner.

Any hopes the Czechs had of getting back into the game seemed to vanish when Roman Hubnik passed straight to Marcelo Brozovic, who had a simple task to find Rakitic. The midfielder had not previously scored at a major finals but showed no nerves in clipping over Cech.

Croatia should have made it three when full-back Pavel Kaderabek inadvertently set up Mandzukic who shot over and were made to pay for the miss when the Czechs pulled a goal back with 14 minutes remaining.

Modric was substituted by this point and Cacic was reluctant to say why beyond that he may have a minor muscle problem after a long season.

"I'm not going to say it didn't help in some way but I focus on my team," Vrba said of the influential Modric going off.

The previously quiet Tomas Rosicky found Skoda with a brilliant cross with the outside of his foot and the resulting header found the top corner.

But Rosicky too limped off before the end with a thigh issue and Vrba said doctors would analyse the injury.

Croatia missed further chances and the game was then interrupted for several minutes to restore order in the stands.

The Czechs were able to throw everything forward in search of a lucky equalizer and they got just the break they were looking for when Vida handled in challenging for a high punt into the box.

Necid stayed calm to smash home the penalty and the Czechs could even have snatched an unlikely winner as the distracted Croats threatened to fall apart.

"It's a lack of concentration and of course this was because of the supporters," Cacic said of the late equalizer. "Our players have friends and family in the stands and you can't just focus on the pitch after what happened.

"I'm glad we got a draw and didn't lose the match."

Related stories

Coach Vrba not ready to Czech out of France just yet

Brilliant Rakitic apologies for fan behaviour

Croatia: Modric injury not as bad as feared

UEFA taking disciplinary action over Croatia fans

Srna prepares for emotional return against Czech Republic

Super confident Croatia ready for Turkey date at Euro

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.