Czech Republic 1-2 Scotland: Steve Clarke’s side go top of Nations League group

Scotland moved to the top of their Nations League group after beating a makeshift Czech Republic side 2-1 at the Andruv Stadium in Olomouc.

Playing against a Czech side that included nine debutants after a Covid-19 crisis in the build-up to the game, Scotland were behind after just 11 minutes when Jiri Pesek produced a cool finish to beat David Marshall.However, Steve Clarke’s side fought back before the break through Lyndon Dykes’ first international goal (27) and the comeback was complete seven minutes into the second half as Ryan Christie scored from the spot after Andrew Robertson was brought down in the penalty area.The hosts had chances late on as Marshall denied Pesek a second before Stanislav Tecl, one of only two players already capped in the Czech Republic line-up, shot wide with the goal at his mercy

Substitute Antonin Rusek then saw a last-gasp header graze the post as Scotland held on for a much-needed boost ahead of their Euro 2020 play-off against Israel on October 8.This match had been shrouded in controversy since Friday when the Czech Republic had declared the fixture to be off after two players had to self-isolate following contact with a backroom staff member who had tested positive for coronavirus.

UEFA, however, insisted it go ahead with a new set of players and management, and it was one of the international new boys who gave the hosts a shock lead 11 minutes in as Pesek ghosted in behind Scott McTominay to control Tecl’s through ball and finish past the onrushing Marshall.It was exactly the start Clarke did not want and shortly afterwards, Marshall tipped away a long-range drive from Pesek.

Scotland slowly worked their way back into the game and in the 27th minute Liam Palmer took a cross-field pass from skipper Robertson and his cross was put into the roof of the net by Dykes from close range.The visitors completed the turnaround in the 52nd minute when Tomas Malinsky fouled Robertson and Christie steered the spot-kick past the diving Ales Mandous, who guessed the right way.

However, Scotland could not shake off the spirited Czech side.

Marshall made another excellent save to deny Pesek and Tecl, with the goal gaping, stumbled and fired the rebound wide.

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