Scotland 0-2 Czech Republic: Schick stunner silences hosts at Hampden Park
Patrik Schick scored twice, including a stunning strike from just inside the opposition half, to earn the Czech Republic a 2-0 win against Scotland in Monday's Euro 2020 clash.
Scotland are competing in their first major tournament in 23 years and had the backing of around 12,000 spectators on home soil at Hampden Park.
However, Schick's header late in the first half and an incredible second goal from 49.7 yards – the longest recorded at the Euros since records began in 1980 – soon dampened the spirits of the vast majority inside the venue.
Steve Clarke's side hit the crossbar through a Jack Hendry effort in between Schick's brace, but Scotland offered little else in response as the Czech Republic joined England – 1-0 winners over Croatia on Sunday – on three points at the top of Group D.
David Marshall's penalty heroics helped Scotland book their place in the finals and the goalkeeper was required after 16 minutes to push Schick's shot past the post.
A rare first-half chance came and went for the hosts at the other end when Andy Robertson was played in on the overlap but denied by a Tomas Vaclik save.
But it was the visitors who took the lead just before half-time as Schick towered above Grant Hanley to guide Vladimir Coufal's cross into the bottom-left corner.
Marshall was called into action twice in the early stages of the second period to keep out Schick and then Vladimir Darida in the space of 24 seconds.
Scotland responded well and hit the crossbar through Hendry's clipped effort from range, swiftly followed by a clawed save from Vaclik to prevent a Tomas Kalas own goal.
Any hopes Clarke's side had of taking a point from their opener were extinguished by Schick, though, as the lively forward spotted Marshall off his line and scored one of the competition's most memorable goals.
Vaclik denied both Lyndon Dykes and then Hanley as the Czechs saw things through to snap a three-game losing run against Scotland.
What does it mean? Schick steals the show
Schick decided to have a go from a long way out after his side turned over possession inside their own half and he left a backpedalling Marshall red faced in the Scotland goal.
The Bayer Leverkusen forward was undoubtedly the star of the show having earlier opened the scoring, ruining Scotland's long wait for a return to tournament football.
Having not made it beyond the group stage of a major competition since reaching the final at Euro 1996, this Schick-inspired win leaves the Czechs in a strong position to advance this time.
Euros history made
Schick's second was the furthest distance a goal has been scored on record in a European Championship fixture since such data was first recorded in 1980.
He has now been involved in 10 goals in his last nine international starts – eight goals and two assists – and is the first Czech player to score a brace at a major tournament since Tomas Rosicky against the United States in the 2006 World Cup.
Robertson a rare shining light
Scotland managed 19 shots, four of which were on target, but they lacked the composure in front of goal to find a way past Vaclik.
That was not for a lack of trying from Robertson's perspective, the left wing-back creating a game-high six chances for his side and going as close as anyone to scoring with his first-half opportunity.
Key Opta facts
- The Czech Republic earned their first win against Scotland since October 2010, ending a run of one draw and three defeats against them in all competitions.
- Scotland have lost their opening match in five of their past six appearances at a major tournament (European Championships and World Cups), failing to score on five occasions in that run.
- There were just 12 fouls conceded in this match (six each), the lowest total on record in a single European Championship game since 1980.
- Schick became the first player to score a brace for the Czech Republic in a European Championship fixture since Milan Baros in 2004 (against Denmark).
- At 36 years and 101 days, goalkeeper David Marshall became the second oldest player to appear for Scotland at a major tournament, after 39-year-old Jim Leighton played in all three of their games at the 1998 World Cup.
Scotland take on neighbours England at Wembley in their next Group D outing on Friday, the same day that the Czech Republic face Croatia at Hampden.