Scotland 0-2 Czech Republic: Motherwell ace Stephen O'Donnell plays as Scots make losing start to Euro 2020 campaign
Motherwell fullback Stephen O’Donnell was part of the Scotland side who made a disappointing start to their Euro 2020 Group D campaign with a 2-0 home defeat by the Czech Republic on Monday at Hampden Park.
Hopes had been high pre-match that the Scots – with a squad boasting some star names from the English Premier League – could finally make history by becoming the first ever Dark Blues side to qualify for the second phase of a major competition.
With Scotland taking to the field of front of a reduced turnout of around 9000 fans due to coronavirus restrictions, anticipation was at fever pitch as thoe in attendance were there to witness our first appearance in a major tournament since the World Cup in France 23 long years ago.
But the section got off to a tough start as Scotland, without injured Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney, succumbed thanks to goals in either half by Czech striker Patrik Schick.
After Scotland had dominated the early stages, the Czechs gradually gained a stranglehold and hit the front on 42 minutes when Vladimir Coufal overlapped and his cross was met by Schick, who steered his header home while sandwiched between Liam Cooper and Grant Hanley.
Half-time substitute Che Adams made a difference for the Scots after the interval, with a floated Jack Hendry effort striking the top of the Czech bar.
Scotland then came agonisingly close to scoring when Tomas Kalas’s clearance looped over Vaclik, who just recovered to clear with the ball destined for the Czech net.
The Czechs then went 2-0 up in sensatonal circumstances. After Hendry’s shot had been blocked, the ball broke to Schick just inside the Scotland half and the Bayer Leverkusen forward sent a sensational looping effort over backpeddaling keeper David Marshall and into the net from just inside the Scotland half.
The goal was a sickener for Scotland who continued to battle bravely – O’Donnell was replaced by James Forrest with 11 minutes remaining – but they couldn’t score.
Next up for Scotland is a trip to face England at Wembley this Friday, before the group campaign finishes with a Hampden encounter against Croatia next Tuesday.