Patrik Schick stunner deflates Scotland and silences Hampden Roar

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·35-min read
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David Marshall of Scotland fails to save as Patrik Schick of Czech Republic scores - Marc Atkins/Getty Images
David Marshall of Scotland fails to save as Patrik Schick of Czech Republic scores - Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Scotland got everything right but the football. The anticipation, the renditions, the crowd, the emotion, the noise, it was all so memorable after 23 years of being outside and looking in as World Cups and European Championships have passed them by. And then it was all too sadly familiar, also.

After the long wait they suffered from the longest goal with an extraordinary and audacious strike from Patrik Schick as the forward scored from 49.7 yards – the furthest on record in a major finals – to add to a fine header as he led the Czech Republic to a deserved victory in Group D.

As good as those finishes were both resulted from naïve mistakes from the over-anxious Scots who seemed affected rather than inspired. At the final whistle there was even a smattering of boos – what a far cry from the celebratory mood at kick off – with coach Steve Clarke standing still in disbelief with his hands behind his back.

Scotland now head to Wembley to face England knowing they cannot afford another defeat if they are to progress. The Czechs have a fine pedigree at the Euros and they showed it as they prepare to face Croatia.

Scotland kicked off 8,392 days after their last involvement in a major tournament ended, on the evening of June 23 1998 in St Etienne in a humiliating defeat by Morocco, an absence that spans four decades and a nation expected; a nation craved to be re-connected. Sadly Scotland could not deliver. Maybe their luck just ran out…

They had chances, plenty of chances but they do not have a striker anywhere near Schick’s quality. Instead they had Lyndon Dykes of Queens Park Rangers and he proved maddeningly wasteful. While schools had the discretion to let their pupils watch by deeming the fixture a “cultural event” it was the football team that was delivered a lesson as to what is required.

Scotland fans react while watching the match at a public viewing outside the stadium on June 14, 2021 in Glasgow - Peter Summers/Getty Images
Scotland fans react while watching the match at a public viewing outside the stadium on June 14, 2021 in Glasgow - Peter Summers/Getty Images

The last time Scotland played in a finals it was before the social media age, a year before Google was launched and the internet was only available on dial-up, but Schick was ‘trending’ after his second intervention which will be a clear contender for goal of the tournament.

It came soon after Jack Hendry was unlucky as he struck the cross-bar from the edge of the penalty area and maybe it was the adrenaline pumping through the defender that led to him shooting again only for the unwise, speculative effort to be charged down and rebound straight to Schick.

Scotland were caught out, goalkeeper David Marshall was way out of his area but still Schick’s left foot shot had remarkable loop, bend and dip as it flew into the net with a forlorn Marshall following the ball like a trapped fish.

To add insult to that injury Schick later said he had observed that Marshall strayed off his line. “I knew he stayed very high so when the ball came I just did a quick check - where is he standing, I saw him out so I tried and it was a nice goal,” he explained. Very nice, indeed. There were also six seconds between Hendry’s effort and Schick’s goal.

Schick scores his first - Andrew Milligan/PA
Schick scores his first - Andrew Milligan/PA

Moments earlier ‘Flower of Scotland’ rang out as the fans believed that, instead, the equalising goal was coming and with Tomas Kalas slicing a clearance under pressure that was only just clawed out by goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik. It seemed the Tartan Army would be rallying.

Instead it was goals either side of half-time that did for them. “It's a one in a million shot unfortunately. We can't lie, it knocked the stuffing out of us at that point,” admitted Scotland captain Andrew Robertson but the first goal was almost as painful.

It came as Scotland were slow to react after a corner was cleared by Grant Hanley with Vladimir Coufal under-lapping down the right to receive the pass with no-one tracking him. The West Ham full-back crossed and Schick rose superbly to beat Hanley and Liam Cooper and angle his header across Marshall.

And to think how the afternoon had started. There was a real Hampden roar and how glorious it was to hear it back with 12,000 sounding like 120,000 inside this stadium. It was followed by Scotland driving forward with the Czechs retreating. What a rush.

Scotland's David Marshall in the net after Czech Republic's Patrik Schick scored their second goal -  Pool via REUTERS/Paul Ellis
Scotland's David Marshall in the net after Czech Republic's Patrik Schick scored their second goal - Pool via REUTERS/Paul Ellis

There was a torrent of attacking but it soon became apparent that it was a little too desperate unless Robertson was involved and he went closest when picked out by Ryan Christie with a smart switch of play. Suddenly clear on goal Roberston struck a rising shot which was tipped over. Maybe he should have scored. Before that the left-back had delivered with Dykes steering his dangerous cross past the post.

For all of Scotland’s intent there were nerves. They clearly missed Kieran Tierney who was not even fit enough for the bench and their three-man defence struggled to contain Schick. The tall, skilful 25-year-old striker has never quite fulfilled his potential and now plays for Bayer Leverkusen but served warning with a first-time shot that Marshall did well to repel.

There were frantic penalty appeals from Scotland, from John McGinn and Scott McTominay, but they were rightly waved away while once the second goal went in it felt over. And yet there were more chances – Stuart Armstrong’s shot was diverted onto the roof of the net, Vaclik smothered a Dykes effort from close-range and denied him with an outstretched boot, James Forrest danced through two challenges only for another shot to be blocked before the ball fell to McTominay. But there was an inevitability as he sent it over the bar.

The Czechs also had opportunities – Schick should have completed a hat-trick but shot weakly and Marshall denied substitute Michael Krmencik – and they were comfortable winners on what sadly turned into an uneasy, anti-climax of an occasion for Scotland.

Tierney's absence upsets Scotland's balance and composure

By Roddy Forsyth

Born in the resort of Saltcoats, Steve Clarke shares a birth provenance with Robert Burns. Ayrshire men both, they contrast in another regard, the clue being that one is known as a man of few words, at least in public.

Clarke, though, must have shared one famed sentiment of the bard when the Scottish medical staff brought the news of a calf injury to Kieran Tierney that would rule the Arsenal defender out of Scotland’s Euro opener, namely, that the best laid plans of mice and managers are prone to unforeseen disruption.

In Clarke’s case, he was deprived at a stroke of one of his two best players and half of the axis along which the revival of Scottish fortunes has been constructed. Tierney’s position on the left edge of central defence and his combination with Andrew Robertson at wing-back had been the single menace which could confound opponents consistently.

In Tierney’s absence, Robertson seemed intent on making up the deficiency all by himself, surging repeatedly along the left flank to pitch cross after cross into the Czech box. However, the significance of the occasion – the first appearance of Scotland’s men in a finals since France 98 – had his team mates surfing on adrenaline and, time after time, promising moves foundered on heavy touches, until the captain implored his colleagues to calm down.

Scotland had won the three most recent meetings of these sides and the Czechs had conceded the first goal in their last four games in the Euro finals, but the omens were reversed on this occasion.

By half-time, possession was shared almost equally but Scotland trailed to Patrik Schick’s close range header just before the break and had contrived only a single attempt of their own on target – almost inevitably from Robertson, whose dipping shot was turned over the crossbar by Tomas Vaclik. Whatever speeches the respective managers delivered during the interval, the upshot was a tumultuous five minutes in which David Marshall and Jack Hendry were prominent.

Scotland's goalkeeper David Marshall stands on the pitch after he failed to safe a long distance shot by Czech Republic's Patrik Schick d - AP Photo/Andy Buchanan, Pool
Scotland's goalkeeper David Marshall stands on the pitch after he failed to safe a long distance shot by Czech Republic's Patrik Schick d - AP Photo/Andy Buchanan, Pool

Marshall, hero of the hour when his save in the penalty decider against Serbia in Belgrade in November sent the Scots to these finals, made two big saves, from Schick and Vladimir Darida. At the other end of the field, Hendry cracked a shot off the face of the crossbar. Small margins.

In the case of the centre-back, it was so close to a repeat of his first goal for Scotland, scored against the Dutch two weeks ago when his pressing game forced the opportunity. Encouraged by how close he had come to doubling his international tally, Hendry tried it again five minutes later. This time his effort ricocheted from a Czech boot and found Schick on the half-way line.

In that instant, Clarke’s strategy was shredded again as Schik gathered the rebound on the half-way line and, glancing up, saw the otherwise reliable Marshall 30 yards off his line, and curled what will likely be the goal of the tournament over the stricken goalkeeper.

The game was won and lost then. In the stands, the stricken Tartan Army bewailed the fact that their frail chance of redemption now looks as though it will depend on quarrying some sort of reward against England at Wembley on Friday – a collision of the Auld Enemies.

Did Burns have a line for that? Yes, in his ode to Bannockburn, he wrote – ‘Let us do or die!’ Preferably with Tierney on hand, Clarke might add.

04:04 PM

And here's another view of it

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03:59 PM

That Sean Connery gag

Ubiquitous, but in case you haven't come across it: 'A real Schickener for Schcotland.'

03:32 PM

And finally ... Steve Clarke

It was quite an even game, I don’t think there was much in it.

They were a little bit more clinical with their chances. Losing the goal with a second-phase set play was disappointing and we went in at half-time on the back foot, then the boy’s hit a wonderful strike from just inside our half. It was a shot that got blocked that fell perfect for them. So those moments went against us.

When we had our chances to get back, we didn’t take them. It’s a good learning experience. We didn’t come here to learn, but you still learn your lessons, that’s what happens. I thought we played decent.

Lots to learn for everybody. I’ll have a good think about it. We’ll go back to base camp, lick our wounds for 24 hours, then get ready for Friday.

03:26 PM

Patrik Schick up next on that goal

I saw the keeper off his line, I checked already in the first half. I thought maybe this situation will come. I knew he stays very high, so when the ball came, I quickly checked where he was standing, and it was a nice goal.

03:20 PM

Andrew Robertson speaks

The whole country wanted us to get off to a good start. We were confident and excited.

It all comes down to not taking our chances. You can’t say we’ve not created. We’ve had some really good chances that on another day we should have done better with. If you do better on that, it’s a different game. For our first game at the highest level in a very long time, it’s a tough lesson for us.

The first one, we shouldn’t concede from second balls at set pieces. It’s a good header but we have to be stronger. The second one, it’s a one in a million shot. It knocked the stuffing out of us.

03:15 PM

The player ratings are in

Scotland player ratings: Andrew Robertson the stand-out man in Czech Republic defeat

03:14 PM

John McGinn speaks

We got beat, so we were disappointed. We played pretty well in the first half without threatening them too much. We got in behind them. The first goal was a poor one to lose. Brilliant header, but you don’t want to lose from a set play or the second phase of it.

The second one’s a brilliant strike, but we can do better. We can sit here and say we played all right, and we did play all right, and the 2-0 scoreline flatters them a wee bit. But they found the quality at the right moments and we need to find that on Friday. We can either sulk about it, or go to Friday with the same attitude.

I don’t think it’s a reality check. We played pretty well. It’s important we don’t sulk too much.

03:13 PM

Stuart Armstrong speaks

It was a difficult one, the game was very compact, particularly the first half. There wasn't much space. Disappointed the way the first goal went in from a set-piece, they've shown real quality for the second goal. We had chances in the second half, missing a bit of luck and they were clinical.

These little things didn't go our way, we made chances and were unlucky not to have one but you need things to go your way. We need to learn from what happened today, it's a tough one. We need to make tweaks. It's a clean slate on Friday, fundamentally there were some good things about today.

We need to analyse it but not dwell on it.

03:05 PM

Apologies

My '52 yards' was a bit out. Need a new theodolite.

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02:58 PM

Full time SCO 0 CZE 2

Twenty-three years since their last tournament and 25 and counting since their last victory (over Switzerland at Euro 96). They were simply outplayed in the second half. Good organisation, one world-class player and two very good ones can't overcome the general weakness of the squad. Put a £40m striker in that mix and things could be very different but they were just not efficient enough in front of goal. Czech Republic had a throughbred centre-forward and Scotland wilted after Schick's second goal and after squandering a handful of very presentable chances.

02:53 PM

90+4 min SCO 0 CZE 2

As they show again when Nisbet's back-post header from Robertson's cross strikes the excellent Kalas.

02:52 PM

90+2 min SCO 0 CZE 2

Four minutes to salvage a Monday night boogie but Scotland's race today is run. They just haven't been clinical enough in front of goal.

Patrik Schick strikes again to silence Hampden and what a shot it is! The Czech centre forward is just a couple of steps inside the Scotland half as he hammers a lofted effort over the head of David Marshall - BBC/UEFA
Patrik Schick strikes again to silence Hampden and what a shot it is! The Czech centre forward is just a couple of steps inside the Scotland half as he hammers a lofted effort over the head of David Marshall - BBC/UEFA

02:50 PM

90 min SCO 0 CZE 2

Marshall makes a good save from Vydra who tried to prod in Coufal's cut-back with his left foot from 12 yards. Marshall turned away the angled, first-time shot.

02:48 PM

89 min SCO 0 CZE 2

Two more changes for the Czechs: Sevcik replaces Schick and Krmencik comes on for the captain, Darida.

02:47 PM

87 min SCO 0 CZE 2

Fraser slips Robertson down the left and he hits another of his deep crosses to the far post where Forrest gives up the best opportunity for a shot by trying to work it on for Adams and tying him up in what Sam Matterface calls 'traffic'. Hmmm.

02:44 PM

85 min SCO 0 CZE 2

Dazzling dribbling from Forrest takes him slaloming into the box from the right beating two players before he jinks inside on to his left and shoots, the ball ballooning off Celustka's superb sliding block over the bar.

02:42 PM

83 min SCO 0 CZE 2

Adams works the ball on to Nisebt and the Hibs man takes on the half-volley from 20 yards, hitting it sweetly but Kalas' block takes the power out of it and it sails down Vaclik's throat.

02:41 PM

81 min SCO 0 CZE 2

Schick has a decent opportunity for a hat-trick when Kral robs McGinn in midfield, moves it out to Hlozek on the left and he laces a pass to the 18-yard line for Schick. He goes for the side-foot and rolls a daisycutter straight at Marshall who stands tall long enough not to have given him room either side.

02:38 PM

79 min SCO 0 CZE 2

Another double Scotland change - Nisbet for Dykes and Forrest for O'Donnell.

02:37 PM

77 min SCO 0 CZE 2

Scotland free-kick on the right, 20 yards inside the Czech half. O'Donnell floats the cross towards the left of the box. Cooper wins the header, directs it back across the box but it won't drop swiftly enough and McTominay shanks the half-volley he can't get his foot on top of over the bar.

02:35 PM

75 min SCO 0 CZE 2

Kalas returns with a plaster rather than stitches. All in good time.

02:33 PM

73 min SCO 0 CZE 2

Kalas' forehead is sliced open by Dykes, inadvertently, and he has to go off, after a delay, for stitches.

02:31 PM

71 min SCO 0 CZE 2

McTominay has gone to right centre-back.

Double Czech substitution: Vydra and Hlozek replace Jankto and Masopust.

02:30 PM

69 min SCO 0 CZE 2

Fraser wastes a couple of crossing opportunities when sent down the right.

02:29 PM

67 min SCO 0 CZE 2

Double Scotland substitution: McGregor and Fraser replace Hendry and Armstrong.

02:28 PM

64 min SCO 0 CZE 2

Dykes' finishing lets him down again and this was a complete cuckoo, a sitter, a goose. Hendry centres from the right, Adams works it on to Dykes, in space 12 yards out and parallel to the left post. But he goes for precision rather than power and gives Vaclik the time to save it with his leg as it rolled towards goal.

Scotland goalkeeper David Marshall crashes into the back of the net after conceding the second goal scored by Czech Republic's Patrik Schick (out of pic) during the UEFA Euro 2020 Group D match at Hampden Park, Glasgow. Picture date: Monday June 14, 2021.  - Andrew Milligan/PA
Scotland goalkeeper David Marshall crashes into the back of the net after conceding the second goal scored by Czech Republic's Patrik Schick (out of pic) during the UEFA Euro 2020 Group D match at Hampden Park, Glasgow. Picture date: Monday June 14, 2021. - Andrew Milligan/PA

02:23 PM

62 min SCO 0 CZE 2

Chance from the corner in too tight a space for Dykes who latches on to Adams' downwards header and tries to hook a lunging shot back from the left of the ix-yard box that Vaclik dives in to save courageously in among the muck, nettles and flying studs.

02:22 PM

60 min SCO 0 CZE 2

Tough luck on Scotland who can't catch a break in the Czech box as Armstrong bullocks through midfield and fires a shot that hits Kalas at full stretch and his leg takes it over Vaclik but also dispatches it whistling over the bar. Corner.

02:18 PM

58 min SCO 0 CZE 2

The replay of the second goal shows that Hendry's decision to go with a long shot that rebounded so perilously for his keeper was a bit daft but not wholly his fault.

02:16 PM

56 min SCO 0 CZE 2

Lovely from Darida as Scotland are rocking here at the back to pick up a loose ball and hit a a curling, dipping right-foot shot that grazes the top of the bar.

02:14 PM

54 min SCO 0 CZE 2

That's what £65 million buys you, Mistake from Hendry upfield at the edge of the Czech box, leaves Marshall stranded way off his line and although he scrambles back and fearlessly throws himself into the back of the net painfully to try to stop Schick's 52-yard beautifully weighted, artfully curling chip, he can't get there. Brilliant finish. Class player.

02:12 PM

GOAL!!!

Scotland 0 Czech Republic 2 (Schick)

02:11 PM

50 min SCO 0 CZE 1

Good hold-up play from Adams as he sends Robertson down the left. The captain bends over another outswinger on the run. Kalas, aware of Dykes and Armstrong behind him, tries to clear but shins it and sends it spinning back towards goal and Vaclik does brilliantly to claw it awayfrom goal diving backwards at full stretch.

02:09 PM

48 min SCO 0 CZE 1

But then Scotland give their heads a shake, wake up and attack down the left. Robertson flies down the left, whips over a cross that McGinn traps and plays a velvety pass to Hendry who bends a shot from 22 yards with his instep bang into the heart of the cross-bar.

02:07 PM

46 min SCO 0 CZE 1

Czech Republic attack straight from kick-off with Marshall forced to save twice in a minute, first from Soucek after Jankto and Darida slice through the righ of midfield and the shot comes from 20 yards. Marshall parries it to his right. McTominay is then caught in possession and allows Jankto to get a shot away from 25 yards that Marshall turns round his right post.

02:04 PM

Half-time sub

Che Adams replaces Ryan Christie. Scotland switch to 3-5-2.

02:03 PM

Forty-five minutes to follow this brief

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01:56 PM

Here's the goal

Czech Republic's Patrik Schick scores the opening goal during the UEFA Euro 2020  - Andrew Milligan/PA
Czech Republic's Patrik Schick scores the opening goal during the UEFA Euro 2020 - Andrew Milligan/PA
Patrick Schick celebrates - ANDY BUCHANAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Patrick Schick celebrates - ANDY BUCHANAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Patrick Schik is only 25 and has already been involved in £65m worth of transfers. That's the difference between the two teams.

01:51 PM

Half-time SCO 0 CZE 1

Parity would be a fairer representation of the first half but one mistake - a defender letting a runner go - has cost them dearly. Coufal pushing on has meant Robertson hasn't been as effective in the last 10 minutes.

01:49 PM

45 min SCO 0 CZE 1

McTominay turns up the Hampden volume with a jinking run into the box where he's floored by Boril, though I suspect they will argue that McTominay ran into him not vice versa. Indeed, that's the verdict of VAR.

01:47 PM

44 min SCO 0 CZE 1

'Scotland will have to dig deep', seems to be the punditry consensus. It's simpler than that. Get the ball to Robertson and try to encourage Armstrong and McTominay to join Dykes in making more penetrating runs into the box.

01:45 PM

42 min SCO 0 CZE 1

From Jankto's corner on the left, Hanley heads it out to the right. McGinn goes to close Kalas down but O'Donnell doesn't read Coufal's run on the overlap and when he is played down the line he gets to the corner flag on the run and whips it over to the the s=centre of goal and Schick buries a 10-yard header.

01:43 PM

GOAL!!!

Scotland 0 Czech Republic 1 (Schick)

01:43 PM

40 min SCO 0 CZE 0

Czech corner after Cooper blocks Darida's cross from the right. It goes all across the area but Scotland are alive to the threat, mark Soucek well and make them work it over to the left where O'Donnell blocks the attempted pass to Schick for another corner.

01:41 PM

38 min SCO 0 CZE 0

Czech Republic take some sting out of the game by stroking it around at the back.

Scotland's John McGinn shoots at goal - Pool via REUTERS/Andy Buchanan
Scotland's John McGinn shoots at goal - Pool via REUTERS/Andy Buchanan

01:38 PM

36 min SCO 0 CZE 0

The replay of McGinn's shot from the corner shows it striking Masopust's left hand which was resting on the side of his shorts. Rightly, no pen. Back come Scotland through Robertson and he whips over another cross. Armstrong makes a deceptive run but Celustka is alive to it and heads it clear.

01:36 PM

34 min SCO 0 CZE 0

McGinn wants a penalty from the corner, claiming hand ball, but the referee shoos him away and Hanley thwarts Czech Rep's attempt to strike on the counter with a well-timed interception.

01:35 PM

32 min SCO 0 CZE 0

Scotland open up the Czech defence down the inside-right with Christie's canny, crossfield pass to Robertson, stepping in off the flank. Robertson, 22 yards out, goes to place a side-foot shot into the top corner but hits it too straight and Vaclik takes two steps tp his left to tip it over the bar.

01:33 PM

30 min SCO 0 CZE 0

McGinn blindsides Kral to nick the ball off the Spartak Moscow midfielder as he tried to stride out of defence with his cigar on. Too much congestion means Scotland can't get through and have to go backwards.

01:32 PM

28 min SCO 0 CZE 0

The Czech Republic enjoy a sustained speall of possession but Scotland do well to keep them kettled in their own half nonetheless, forcing them back to Vaclik and the long ball upfield, stuck in the Wimbledon mixer, and Cooper heads it clear and then mops up again when they try a second surge.

01:29 PM

27 min SCO 0 CZE 0

Strange decision from the referee to award Coufal a free-kick for his foul on Robertson but nothing comes of it.

01:28 PM

24 min SCO 0 CZE 0

Liam Cooper, known for his long left-foot passes at Leeds, almost puts Dykes away with a fine, incisive ball upfield but Dykes, also peroxided, cannot bring it down sufficiently quickly to get a shot away.

01:26 PM

22 min SCO 0 CZE 0

One Scotland player not quite at the races so far is O'Donnell who is being given the runaround by Jankto. he is skinned again by the peroxided Sampdoria winger but Hanley meets the cross and bails his team-mate out at the price of a corner, which Scotland also defend well.

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01:23 PM

19 min SCO 0 CZE 0

Excellent break from Scotland - with Armstrong and Robertson combining on a one-two and the captain whips a low cross towards Dykes. The striker takes it on first time, shooting low into the side netting, thinking there was a gap between Vaclik and his near post ... which there was.

01:20 PM

17 min SCO 0 CZE 0

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01:19 PM

16 min SCO 0 CZE 0

Fine save from Marshall at his near post after Jankto runs to the byline on the left and cuts it back for Schick. He strikes a sweet left-foot shot on the angle and Marshall got down smartly.

01:17 PM

14 min SCO 0 CZE 0

Robertson sweeps up at the back by running the entire width of the pitch after intercepting a Masopust pass intended for Schick and threading it out to O'Donnell.

01:15 PM

12 min SCO 0 CZE 0

Czech free-kick on the right for a tepid foul by Armstrong on Darida. Jankto takes it with his left from the right and shapes it into touch past the far post. Good marking and poor delivery let Scotland off the hook.

01:13 PM

10 min SCO 0 CZE 0

Celustka, who was a Paolo di Canio signing at Sunderland and stayed a year at the Stadium of Light, brings the ball out of defence and sends Jankto on a run. He feeds Coufal whose cross is plucked out of the Galsgow sky by Marshall.

01:10 PM

8 min SCO 0 CZE 0

Robertson whips an inswinging corner from the right that is well defended. Encouragingly energetic and assured start by Scotland.

01:09 PM

6 min SCO 0 CZE 0

Scotland look sharp, zipping the ball around and Cooper has had a couple of confident touches. O'Donnell drives up the right in pursuit of a long pass and wins a throw on the right. He takes it long, causing confusion in the box. McGinn has a glimmer of space but his hot from an angle on the right of the six-yard box - having waited an age for the ball to drop - crashes into Kalas. McGinn retrieves it, scampers up the byline and hits a left-foot cross from the right that is deflected behind for a corner.

01:06 PM

4 min SCO 0 CZE 0

Czech throw-in on the left. Boril takes, receives the return then shanks a right foot pass up the whitewash and out for a Scotland throw.

01:05 PM

3 min SCO 0 CZE 0

McTominay and Robertson play a one-two to send Robertson down the left with a nicely angled reverse pass. he hits a deep cross on the run, first-time, bending it towards the back post but Armstrong couldn't get there before it hooped away from goal.

01:03 PM

1 min SCO 0 CZE 0

Scotland kick off, all in white with red and blue trim, Scotland in shorts to match their shirts and socks, the days of scarlet socks seem to be gone. They attack from left to right and Armstrong knocks it long for Sykes. Kalas heads it clear and a game of head tennis ensues before they work it back to Marshall.

12:57 PM

Out come the officials

Followed by Scotland and the Czech Republic teams. They emerge to an absolute, joyous racker:

Scotland fans in the stands during the UEFA Euro 2020 Group D match at Hampden Park - Jane Barlow/PA
Scotland fans in the stands during the UEFA Euro 2020 Group D match at Hampden Park - Jane Barlow/PA

And we begin with the Czech Republic national anthem.

12:50 PM

Nice message from Glasgow to a Copenhagen hospital bed

Scotland v Czech Republic - Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland, Britain - June 14, 2021 Scotland fan holds up a flag with a message in support of Christian Eriksen  - REUTERS/Robert Perry
Scotland v Czech Republic - Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland, Britain - June 14, 2021 Scotland fan holds up a flag with a message in support of Christian Eriksen - REUTERS/Robert Perry

12:46 PM

Steve Clarke speaks

“It’s brilliant! A great atmosphere in the stadium. It’s fantastic to have the Tartan Army back. Small numbers, but I’m sure they’re going to make a hell of a noise.”

He is drowned out by the Hampden Roar and abandons the rest of the interview.

12:35 PM

I've got the BBC Scotland feed

Presume that's the same for everyone in the UK?

12:32 PM

Let's not forget these two met last autumn

And Scotland won 1-0:

12:27 PM

Clarke on Tierney

Says it's only a niggle and hopes he'll be fit for Wembley on Friday.

12:27 PM

Scotland's John McGinn gets ready for action

ohn McGinn of Scotland warms up prior to the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group D match between Scotland v Czech Republic - Andy Buchanan - Pool/Getty Images
ohn McGinn of Scotland warms up prior to the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group D match between Scotland v Czech Republic - Andy Buchanan - Pool/Getty Images

12:15 PM

Tae think again ...

Some handy pre-match reading ... for Friday. Not at all staged ...

A fan reading a book about Bannockburn - Stu Forster/Getty Images
A fan reading a book about Bannockburn - Stu Forster/Getty Images

12:06 PM

Kieran Tierney

Aggravated an 'existing' injury in training apparently. He missed half his first season with hip and groin injuries at Arsenal, hurt his shoulder in December 2019 and endured a long spell out at the start of the year with a knee injury. Suspect it's the latter that must have flared up.

Kieran Tierney - Gonzalo Arroyo - UEFA/Getty Images
Kieran Tierney - Gonzalo Arroyo - UEFA/Getty Images

12:02 PM

Your teams in black and white

Scotland Marshall; Hendry, Hanley, Cooper; O'Donnell, McGinn, McTominay, Robertson; Armstrong, Christie; Dykes.
Substitutes McGregor, Gordon, Taylor, Turnbull, Nisbet, Fraser, McLaughlin, Patterson, Gilmour, Forrest, Adams, McKenna.

Czech Republic Vaclik; Coufal, Celustka, Kalas, Boril; Soucek, Kral; Masopust, Darida, Jankto; Schick.
Substitutes Kaderabek, Brabec, Barak, Holes, Krmencik, Sevcik, Mandous, Zima, Hlozek, Vydra, Mateju, Pekhart.

Referee Daniel Siebert (Germany)

11:56 AM

Tierney out

As widely flagged in the build-up, Clarke has decided to move McTominay from his role on the right of a back three into central midfield and because Kieran Tierney is not even in the 23 we assume he must be injured and Liam Cooper, the Leeds United captain, takes his place on the left of the back three with Hendry on the right and Hanley in the middle in the 3-4-2-1.

11:51 AM

And without further ado

I shall hand you over to your live match blogger, your friend and mine, the splendid Mr Rob Bagchi. TTFN - and let's go Scotland!

11:50 AM

And here are their opponents, the Czech Republic

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11:46 AM

Here are the Scotland boys

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11:42 AM

Cesc Fabregas

very good on the Eriksen situation.

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11:29 AM

Loch hat

Scotland fan in a hat - Getty
Scotland fan in a hat - Getty

11:27 AM

Few Scottish birthdays today!

Callum McGregor, who is reportedly under pressure to keep his place from Billy Gilmour, is 28.

Alan Brazil, no less, born 1959

Former Rangers man Tore Andre Flo as well

11:24 AM

Steve Clarke as a young man

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11:08 AM

12,000 are allowed in

Hampden Park awaits Scotland and the Czech Republic - UEFA via Getty Images
Hampden Park awaits Scotland and the Czech Republic - UEFA via Getty Images

11:00 AM

Tierney and Robertson: the left-back question

One thing everyone knows about Scotland is that they have two aces at left-back. Here, Sam Dean, explains how Clarke is getting them both in his XI.

The key to maximising the ability of both has been Clarke’s three-man defence. In this shape Tierney has excelled as the left-sided centre back, while Robertson plays as a more attacking wing-back. But Tierney has the freedom to overlap and underlap from his defensive position, supporting Robertson in attack whenever he can. When Tierney pushes on, Robertson sits back. When Robertson needs options, Tierney provides back-up.

Steve Clarke finds innovative way to fit Kieran Tierney and Andy Robertson into Scotland team

10:56 AM

Everything you always wanted to know

about the Scotland football team, but were afraid to ask.

It's the great man Roddy Forsyth, who must surely know as much about this topic as any person alive.

Roddy talks you through the squad, the options, the history, the manager and all the rest.

10:52 AM

Euros Fever

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10:45 AM

Andy Robertson on Christian Eriksen

Scotland captain Andy Robertson said Denmark players were "heroes" for shielding Christian Eriksen from the crowd and cameras when he received CPR on the pitch after suffering a cardiac arrest during the Euro 2020 match against Finland.

Denmark midfielder Eriksen collapsed suddenly in the 42nd minute of Saturday's match while running near the left touchline after a throw-in. He was later rushed to the hospital.

"The way the Danish players dealt with what must have been a heart-breaking thing for all of them, they stood up to it," Robertson said.

"That will be the picture I remember and everyone should remember because, when one of their friends was in a bad place, they stood up and protected him.

"Whatever else happens in this tournament, for me they will be the heroes."

Jakob Hoeyer, communications director at the Danish football association, told reporters on Monday that Eriksen's condition is still "stable, good".

10:27 AM

1998

That was the year that they were last in it. Scotland mean. It was a day of some significance for me personally, because it was the day I finished my last exam for my degree - at the University of Edinburgh. As anyone would, I immediately went to the pub to watch them play mighty Brazil. They got a run for their money that day, the Scots. JC scored from the Scot to equalise and then poor Tommy Boyd scored the OG.

10:24 AM

Highs and lows

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09:42 AM

Scotland!

Massive day for Scottish football, back in the big time after far too long, and with a tricky but winnable fixture against the Czech Republic to start them off with. Steve Clarke's side play Czech Republic at 2pm in Hampden Park in Glasgow. It's 58 degrees in Glasgow, with a 21 mile an hour wind and a 27% chance of rain, which I believe I am right in saying makes it officially summer. So taps aaf all around up there.

Steve Clarke's men have some proper players, as Souey would say, this time around. John McGinn, doing so brilliantly at Aston Villa and a personal favourite of mine after his time at Hibs, is an all-action, all-round midfield force. The Scots are in the fortunate/slightly annoying position of having their other two best players play in the same, er, position. Andrew Robertson and Kieran Tierney would both get into pretty much every side in this tournament as a left back, but obviously only one of them can get into this Scottish side. Sam Dean will explore in more depth how Clarke fits everything in shortly.

With the big match coming up against England on Friday, Scotland need to probably get something here. Croatia looked a shadow of their 2018 World Cup selves against England but might come on for the run, who knows. Whichever group they were in, Scotland were not going to be among the most fancied teams but the match against England is such a specific situation that maybe they can cause an upset. Anyway, Clarke will be telling his boys to forget about that and focus on the matter at hand.

The Czechs are not at the level they were when they came 2nd in Euro 1996, or even when they were 3rd in 2004. Keep an eye out for Vladimír Darida of Hertha Berlin, he's an absolute dynamo and holds the Bundesliga record for distance run in a match. Could be a hectic afternoon in midfield.

The Czechs favour a no-nonsense 4-2-3-1, with an all West Ham right side of Coufal and Soucek providing dangerous overloads down the right. Luckily, the left is where the Scots have THEIR best players, so it could be a great tactical battle. Kick off is at 2pm, I'll bring you all the build up and team news until about 12.30, and then it will be over to the mighty Rob Bagchi for the match blog.

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