Steve Clarke says Scotland had to be more clinical after drawing blank in Czech Republic defeat

Scotland lose Euro 2020 Group D opener 2-0 to Czech Republic following goals in each half from Patrik Schick; Jack Hendry hits bar for Scots, who also see Lyndon Dykes miss fine chance; Tartan Army travel to Wembley to face England on Friday, kick-off at 8pm

Scotland were left frustrated after drawing a blank in their Euro 2020 opener
Image: Scotland were left frustrated after drawing a blank in their Euro 2020 opener

Steve Clarke felt his Scotland side were "competitive" but needed to be more clinical as they opened their Euro 2020 account with a 2-0 defeat to the Czech Republic.

Scotland had clear chances in either half to ensure a different scoreline but a combination of good goalkeeping by Tomas Vaclik and poor finishing from Andy Robertson and Lyndon Dykes meant they could not give their supporters a goal to cheer at Hampden Park.

Meanwhile, Bayer Leverkusen striker Patrik Schick - who cost Roma more than €40m four years ago - showed his own clinical touch to head home Vladimir Coufal's cross just before half-time, and then score a 50-yard wondergoal when he spotted David Marshall far off his goal-line seven minutes after the break.

"We came here to be competitive, I think we were competitive in the game. Sometimes a match doesn't go your way, today was that day," Clarke said.

Czech Republic's Patrik Schick celebrates scoring the second goal of the game
Image: Czech Republic's Patrik Schick celebrates scoring the second goal of the game

"I don't think there was much between the two sides, if I'm honest. If you look at our possession, our attempts at goal, we weren't quite clinical enough at the right time.

"The breaks went against us at the wrong time. Losing a goal five minutes before half-time from a set play was disappointing, we normally defend that quite well.

"We came out for the second half and started quite well. Jack hit the bar, and had another shot which got blocked, fell to their striker, and he produced a marvellous finish. From there it becomes a difficult afternoon.

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"We showed good invention, chances to get back into the game and if we make it 2-1, it's a different afternoon. I'm disappointed, but ready for the next one."

Scotland were forced into a surprise personnel selection with Kieran Tierney absent through injury, and in his absence Leeds' Liam Cooper took his place in Clarke's back three.

"Obviously, we've done a lot of work with team shape and Kieran was involved in that. With 48 hours to go, when he picks up the little niggle that keeps him out, it does take a little bit of changing, it changes the dynamic of the team.

Scotland's David Marshall is beaten by Patrik Schick's long range curling to make it 2-0 to the Czech Republic
Image: Scotland's David Marshall was beaten by Patrik Schick's long range curling shot to make it 2-0 to the Czech Republic

"He's been an integral part of how we've played recently, but I don't think we defended too badly in the game. The moments that have got away from us, the first one's preventable, the second one is a really good strike.

"He's got a chance of being fit for Friday, we'll work on him over the next few days."

McGinn: We need to do it the hard way

If Euro 2016 form is replicated in this tournament, one win and another defeat could be enough for Scotland to qualify for the last 16 even as a third-placed team, but with England and Croatia to come - two sides who finished second and fourth at the last World Cup - the Tartan Army face an uphill struggle after their most straightforward game on paper.

John McGinn, their top scorer in qualifying, felt his country's performance had deserved better than the scoreline suggested, and accepted "the hard way" would be the only way they could now qualify from Group D after a disappointing opening.

He told the BBC: "I thought we played pretty well first half without threatening them too much. The first goal is a poor one to lose.

"The second one is a brilliant strike but again we can do better. We played all right, 2-0 flattered them a wee bit, but they found quality at the right moments. We need to find it on Friday.

"I don't think it's a reality check. Overall we played pretty well, there are things we can improve on, but it's the first game of the tournament.

"We've got two games to fix what we need to fix and it's important we don't sulk too much. We need to do it the hard way now."

What went wrong for Scotland - and what do they need to do to bounce back against England at Wembley?

After a 23-year wait, Scotland's first match back at a major international tournament ended in defeat, with Steve Clarke's side going down 2-0 to Czech Republic at Hampden Park.

We get reaction to the result and performance from former Scotland international James McFadden and Famous Tartan Army Magazine editor Iain Emerson, who joined Sky Sports News reporter Charles Paterson after the game for the latest Sky Sports Football Euros Podcast.

There's debate and discussion about the chances which came and went for Scotland, the mistakes at the back, the impact of "world class" Kieran Tierney's injury - and whether Scotland can bounce back in the mouth-watering match-up with England at Wembley on Friday.

And finally… was Patrik Schick's halfway-line strike better than Zinedine Zidane's volley at the same stadium? Or McFadden's goal in Paris?!

What's next?

Both teams are next in action on June 18. Scotland face a huge Home Nations derby against England at Wembley (kick-off 8pm), while the Czech Republic take on Croatia at Hampden Park (kick-off 5pm).

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