It was an electric atmosphere in Glasgow for the first time since 1998 and the Scots kicked off their Group D campaign with a clash against the Czech Republic.
A brace from Bayer Leverkusen Schick, including an extraordinary 45m effort from just inside the halfway line, gave the Czechs a 2-0 win over Scotland in their Euro 2020 opener at Hampden Park on Monday.
Scotland made a terrific start and showed plenty of attacking in the first half but the Czechs settled and were on high alert to stand the pressure.
The deadlock was broken as half time approached Patrik Schick towered above two defenders to power home a header.
A second goal from the sensational Schick seven minutes into the second half was almost certainly one of the tournament’s greatest.
Spotting Scotland’s goalkeeper Marshall off his line, Schick lobbed an extraordinary 45m effort from just inside the halfway line into an empty net, to hand the Czechs a 2-0 win over Scotland in their Euro 2020 opener at Hampden Park. A top, top, top, top, top, top strike.
Patrik Schick, Czech Republic forward: “It’s always hard to play against us: we have a lot of hardworking players. Scotland were a tough opponent. But we were ready for their tactics. [For my goal] I saw the goalkeeper off his line – I checked in the first half where he was standing.”
Jaroslav Šilhavý, Czech Republic coach: “The decisive factor was that we survived the early pressure from Scotland. Then we got into the game and scored the opening goal. The second goal from Patrik calmed us down and finished the job.”
Questions may be asked about Marshall’s positioning for Schick’s goal, with the keeper stranded in no-man’s land when the ball arrived at the forward’s feet, but Scotland boss Steve Clarke was not going to point the finger.
“I think rather than looking to apportion blame all the time, sometimes you have got to credit the goal scorer,” he said.
Steve Clarke, Scotland Coach: ”I think the breaks went against us at the wrong time,’ said the Scotland boss. Obviously losing a goal five minutes before half-time – from a the second phase off a set play – was disappointing for us.
”We normally defend that quite well so that was a blow. We came out for the second half and tried to get back in it, Jack Hendry hit the bar. Then Jack had another shot which got blocked and fell straight to their striker and he produced a marvellous finish”
Scotland: Marshall; Hanley, Cooper, Hendry (McGregor 67); O’Donnell (Forrest 79), Armstrong (Fraser 67), McTominay, McGinn, Robertson; Dykes (Nisbet 79), Christie (Adams 46)
Czech Republic: Vaclík; Coufal, Čelůstka, Kalas, Bořil; Souček, Král (Holeš 67); Masopust (Vydra 72), Darida (Ševčík 87), Jankto (Hložek 72); Schick (Krmenčík 87)
Acknowledgment: Betway Ghana (Headline Sponsor)
Mark F. | SilverFM