Scotland have beaten Czech Republic 1-0 to extend their lead at the top of Nations League group B2.
Ryan Fraser scored the only goal of the game after six minutes but it took a resolute defensive performance in the second half for Steve Clarke’s side to seal three important points.
The win not only puts Scotland four points clear of the Czechs in the Nations League group but extends the national team’s unbeaten run to eight games and maintains momentum ahead of next month’s crucial Euro 2020 play-off against Serbia.
Scotland boss Clarke had made three changes going into the game, with Greg Taylor replacing suspended captain Andy Robertson, and Callum McGregor and Ryan Jack coming in for Kenny McLean and John Fleck.
The hosts settled quickly at Hampden and enjoyed the dream start when they took the lead just six minutes in. Good work by Ryan Jack and Stephen O’Donnell won possession and Lyndon Dykes played a ball through for Fraser who fired his shot past Tomas Vaclik.
The Newcastle forward could have had a second but hit his shot over the bar and Scotland went in at the break a goal to the good but having been pushed at times by the Czechs.
After the restart, the pressure was stepped up and Scotland were pushed back repeatedly. Matej Vydra knocked a shot just wide early on and then had a shot blocked by David Marshall.
Tomas Soucek had a chance with a header and Alex Kral had a net-bound shot blocked by John McGinn and an equaliser looked a matter of time.
With eight minutes left on the clock Soucek blazed over from just six yards and minutes later substitute Oli McBurnie had a chance on a rare Scotland break, hitting a fierce shot from outside the box that hit the bar.
The Czechs continued to exert pressure but couldn’t find the goal they needed, leaving Scotland to reap the rewards and a third win of the international break.