Scotland’s return to major tournament action fell flat as they slumped to a 2-0 defeat to the Czech Republic at Hampden.
Here are five things we learned from their Euro 2020 Group D opener on Monday:
Knockout dream fades
If Steve Clarke’s team are to become the first Scotland side to make it past the group stage at a major tournament, then a winning start against the Czechs would have gone a long way.
Instead, Patrick Schick’s brilliant double has left their hopes of progressing seriously dented. The Scots now head to Wembley to face England on Friday needing an almighty response.
Marshall dents his reputation
Goalkeeper David Marshall became a national hero with his penalty save in Serbia, but he was left red-faced at Hampden after being caught out 40 yards off his line as Schick’s lob from just inside the Scotland half put the Czechs 2-0 up.
The keeper had made a number of key saves already, but there was no way back for the hosts from that 53rd-minute hammer blow.
Clamour for youth will increase
Clarke opted against involving his talented teenagers Nathan Patterson and Billy Gilmour against the Czechs, instead going with tried-and-trusted servants such as Stephen O’Donnell and Ryan Christie.
But neither impressed as Scotland stumbled. The manager is now likely to come under growing pressure in the days ahead to throw caution to the wind and start Chelsea youngster Gilmour and Rangers rising star Patterson against England.
Crash-landing for Lyndon Dykes
Clarke was hoping to use his big frontman as a battering ram to open up the Czech defence, but instead the QPR striker found himself chasing a string of aimless long balls.
The 14 aerial duels he contested in the first half alone were more than any player in the tournament so far. He could have given Scotland hope at two down but fired his finish straight at Tomas Vaclik.
Kieran Tierney’s absence was felt
The loss of the Arsenal man to a training ground knock this week was a huge blow to Clarke’s plans, but if there is one small hope to be taken from this damaging defeat is that the defender should be back in time to face England in London.