Euro 2020: Five things we learned from Scotland's 2-0 loss to the Czech Republic

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Scotland's Euro 2020 journey got off to poor start on Monday afternoon, as they slumped to a 2-0 home defeat to the Czech Republic at Hampden Park.

Despite having an abundance of chances, Scotland just couldn't get the ball in the back of the net against the Czechs, and a classic centre-forward's header from opposition striker Patrick Schick gave the visitors the lead shortly before half-time.

The Bayer Leverkusen striker sealed the win after the break, as he created a harrowing flashbulb memory now seared into the minds of the next generation of Scottish children watching on at school, by lobbing veteran goalkeeper David Marshall with a stunning, long-distance effort.

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Steve Clarke's side will be keen for the haunting image of their stopper reeling about in the net like a fluorescent yellow, freshly-landed Atlantic bluefin tuna not to be the moment their tournament is remembered for, and will be determined to improve on Friday.

Five things we learned from Scotland's 2-0 loss to the Czech RepublicFive things we learned from Scotland's 2-0 loss to the Czech Republic
Five things we learned from Scotland's 2-0 loss to the Czech Republic

In the meantime, here's five things we learned from yesterday's big game.

Scotland HAVE to start finishing their chances

For all the abuse Steve Clarke took for his choice of starting XI, his side had no problem creating chances, and found themselves with a staggering 19 goal opportunities - each and every one they squandered.

It really felt like 'one of those days' for Scotland, as their relentless efforts came just short of hitting the back of the net, time and time again.

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Did the Czechs secretly install some kind of powerful, ball-repelling magnet into the goal posts before kick-off? It's worth looking into, UEFA.

Euro 2020 referees are being seriously lenient

Repeatedly, the play was allowed to continue despite some pretty blatant body checks and cynical trips - from both sides.

This appears to be a developing theme in the tournament, and while it it makes for a nicely flowing game - something the competitions organisers are probably pushing - you can't have that many clear fouls not being picked up by the referee.

That said, the VAR checks were refreshingly quick compared to, for example, the Premier League in England last season.

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Scotland will cause England problems

Make no mistake about it: if Scotland create that many chances against England, they're getting a goal or two.

With skipper Andy Robertson bombing down the wing, and John McGinn at his creative best, the side looked a serious threat going forward, and they're bound reap the rewards if they continue to play with that bold, attacking endeavour.

England’s defence can be pretty shaky, and should Scotland press them relentlessly, there will be some mistakes to capitalise on.

The Tartan Army have still got it

That roar from the crowd when Scotland went a goal down epitomised the heart-felt, rampant support of the fans at Hampden Park yesterday afternoon.

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In truth, they deserved better than what they witnessed, and have showed just how missed their presence has been at major international tournaments over the last two decades.

Tomas Vaclik is a seriously good goalkeeper

If Schick hadn't skewered Scotland with a brace, Vaclik would have been his side's Man of the Match, as he made save after save to deny the opposition.

The 2020 Europa League winner, on the strength of that performance, should help his side secure more than one clean sheet in this tournament.

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