Czech Republic 1 Scotland 2: David Marshall heroics and woodwork to rescue in Nations League victory

Steve Clarke’s side fail to impress against makeshift Czech squad

By Matthew Elder
Monday, 7th September 2020, 4:47 pm
Updated Monday, 7th September 2020, 11:14 pm
Scotland captain Andy Robertson in action during the UEFA Nations League match against Israel at Hampden on Friday. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Scotland captain Andy Robertson in action during the UEFA Nations League match against Israel at Hampden on Friday. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Lyndon Dykes scored his first international goal while Ryan Christie made it two penalties in two matches as Scotland clung on for an uncomfortable victory against a makeshift Czech Republic side in Olomouc this evening.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Steve Clarke’s plans were thrown into disarray late on Friday night when the Czech FA declared the fixture had been called off amid a coronavirus threat, however UEFA intervened and the match went ahead as planned.

All the Czech players and coaching staff involved in the 3-1 win over Slovakia on Friday, including manager Jaroslav Silhavy, were banned from participating in tonight’s Group B2 match, leaving the hosts to gather a hastily assembled reserve squad, featuring just two previously capped players.

However, Scotland struggled to victory, coming from behind after conceding to Jakub Pešek in the 11th minute, and relying on David Marshall heroics, and the woodwork twice, denying the hosts a deserved equaliser.

Czech Republic v Scotland

Last updated: Monday, 07 September, 2020, 20:25

  • Pesek gives the Czechs shock lead on 11 minutes
  • Dykes first international goal brings Scots level on 24 minutes 
  • Christie fires Scotland ahead from the penalty spot
  • Czechs hit woodwork twice in search for equaliser
  • Marshall heroics required to keep Scots ahead

Good afternoon folks. It was on, then off, then back on again, but barring any more unexpected twists, Czech Republic v Scotland will be kicking off in Olomouc at 7.45pm this evening. We’ll have all the action, comment, analysis and reaction right here in our live blog.

No injuries were sustained in the 1-1 draw with Israel at Hampden on Friday night so Steve Clarke has a full strength side to choose from.

Team news - five changes

Scotland make five changes from the side that drew with Israel. Out go Callum McGregor, John McGinn, James Forrest, Kieran Tierney and Ryan Jack replaced by John Fleck, Liam Cooper, Stuart Armstrong, Kenny McLean and Liam Palmer.

Nine of the 11 Czech starters will earn their maiden cap tonight. Roman Hubník of Sigma Olomouc - last capped in 2016 - is the captain.

Clarke explains changes

Steve Clarke has been explaining his five changes on Sky Sports.

The thinking behind the changes is what I spoke about previously. The stage of the season, where the squad is at, freshen up the midfield with one or two different boys and give them a chance. It's a team we think can win the game. If everyone looks closely at the personnel on the pitch we can play both, we can play with a back four, or with a back three. It gives us flexibility at any time within the game. 

The national anthems are underway at the empty Andruv Stadion in Olomouc. How will Steve Clarke’s much-changed Scotland side fare against the all-together different Czechs? We’re about to find out …  

Scotland get the game underway lining up in the same formation from Friday’s draw with Israel with Man Utd midfielder Scott McTominay again deployed on the right of the back three.

Scotland have looked pensive in the opening minutes, with the Czechs looking far from ramshackle as they push forward with purpose down the left to earn the game’s first corner after eight minutes, which was overhit to let Scotland off the hook

GOAL! The nightmare start

Kenny McLean gives possession away in midfield and with the Scotland defence caught square, Pesek runs onto a through ball to slot past David Marshall. 11 minutes on the clock and Scotland are behind to a makeshift Czech team. Could we be sinking to a new low tonight?

Marshall to the rescue

It almost gets worse for Scotland as Pesek, who is making the most of his chance, goes for the top corner from 25 yards and forces the Cardiff keeper to turn it behind for a corner at full stretch. Scotland have not started!

Page 1 of 4