Well that was a true Scottish calamity of errors, plus some clinical finishing — sprinkled with a combination of failing to convert and some valiant defending.
The Czech Republic came away 2-0 winners at Hampden in Glasgow, despite the home side dominating in almost every department. The Scots came out determined to make a statement after 27 years away from the big stage, and they seemed to have the team to do it. However, after that strong start, their failure to find the net came back to haunt them — it never seems to change for the men in blue — as Patrik Schick made them pay. The first was a great finish against the run of play at the end of the first half, in front of almost 13,000 screaming Scotland fans. The second — one for the highlights reel — really summed up Scotland’s day as Schick lobbed David Marshall in the home goal from near the halfway line. It was always going to be a tough task after that for Scotland but they kept plugging away and only the woodwork, some flying tackles, last-ditch lunges and good old bad luck kept Steve Clarke’s men blank on the scoresheet.
Some 19 shots and 58 per cent possession will count for nothing for Scotland, but the Czech Republic will have their tails up ahead of a clash with the ageing Croatia, who went down to England in Group D on Sunday.
As for Scotland, it is a trip to Wembley to face the Auld Enemy England, and they will need to find their teeth if they don’t want to be going ‘home’ to soon to think once again.