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Scotland lose Euro 2020 opener to Czech Republic

Patrik Schick double silences an electric atmosphere at Hampden.

Scotland lose Euro 2020 opener to Czech Republic SNS Group

Scotland have lost their opening Euro 2020 game 2-0 to the Czech Republic at Hampden.

Patrik Schick scored both goals for the Czechs, with the Bayer Leverkusen forward’s second a stunning effort from near the halfway line.

The defeat leaves Steve Clarke’s men bottom of Group D with games against England and Croatia remaining.

Scotland – who were without the injured Kieran Tierney – had plenty of shots on goal, but couldn’t make their opportunities count in a frustrating performance.

A trip to London to play England on Friday now awaits the Scots before their final group game against Croatia at Hampden next Tuesday.

John McGinn battles for possession.SNS Group

Scotland had the first attack of the game amid an electric atmosphere at Hampden, but Andy Robertson’s cross from the left was missed by Lyndon Dykes in the middle.

Aston Villa’s John McGinn then had a chance a few minutes later and won a corner for Scotland when his shot was blocked, but Robertson’s ball in was well defended.

Clarke’s men had the best of the opening ten minutes as they showed their attacking intent in front of a vocal 12,000 crowd.

The Czechs produced their first real attack on the 14th minute, Vladimír Darida whipping a free-kick into the box which missed everyone and went out for a goal kick.

Two minutes later, David Marshall was forced to make a save from Schick and the resulting corner was well defended as Scotland cleared their lines.

Dykes then went close after another cross from captain Robertson on the left as the game started to open up.

On the half-hour mark, Robertson burst through the Czech defence to force a fingertip save from Tomáš Vaclik before a McGinn shot from the resulting corner was blocked.

However, it was the Czechs who opened the scoring five minutes before the break when Schik rose highest to meet a Vladimír Coufal cross and headed the ball into the corner of Marshall’s net.

Patrik Schick rises above Grant Hanley to make it 1-0.SNS Group

Southampton’s Che Adams was brought on at half-time in place of Ryan Christie as Scotland switched to two upfront.

But it was the Czechs who made a quick start to the second half with Marshall forced to concede a corner.

A Jack Hendry strike then hit the bar as Dykes was denied as Scotland kept the pressure on.

But it was the visitors who doubled their lead on the 52nd minute when Schik countered after a blocked Hendry shot and fired a wonderful lob from 50 yards over a stranded Marshall.

David Marshall is left helpless as Patrik Schik's strike flies over his head.SNS Group

Scotland had a mountain to climb and Stuart Armstrong was next to have a try as his shot was deflected over the bar.

Dykes should have scored on the hour-mark, but his shot from point-blank range was again kept out by Vaclik in the Czech goal.

Clarke threw on Callum McGregor and Ryan Fraser and switched to it to a 4-4-2 as they chased the game with just over 20 minutes to go.

James Forrest and Kevin Nisbet then joined them with ten minutes to go as Scotland threw everything forward in hope of a late comeback.

The Hibs forward had a chance shortly after but was easily held again by Vaclic.

Celtic winger Forrest then made a chance for himself by jinking between two defenders in the Czech box before his shot was deflected wide.

Scotland: Marshall, O’Donnell (Forrest), Hendry (Fraser), Hanley, Cooper, Robertson, McTominay, Armstrong (McGregor), McGinn, Christie (Adams), Dykes (Nisbet)

Czech Republic: Vaclic, Coufal, Celustka, Kalas, Boril, Soucek, Kral (Hozlek), Masopust (Vydra), Darida, Jankto (Holes), Schick

Referee: Daniel Seibert (Germany)

Attendance: 12,000 (Hampden Park, Glasgow)