With a dream goal from almost 50 metres, Czech Bundesliga professional Patrick Schick Scotland spoiled the mood over his longing to return to the European Championship stage. The Bayer Leverkusen striker scored both goals in a 2-0 (1-0) win against co-hosts at Hampden Park (42nd/52nd) in Glasgow on Monday. The second goal at the start of the preliminary round would be seen in every review of the tournament – almost an arc lamp from the center line.
Despite the self-sacrificing struggle, the Scots’ hopes of a successful start to their first European Football Championship since 1996 remained unfulfilled. Before the British duel against England on Friday, which Croatia had beaten 1-0, the chances of a first entry into the knockout rounds fell sharply.
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A lot of heart and passion was not enough for Scotland against the clever Czechs. The special moment of the first tournament participation since the 1998 World Cup was noticeable for the Bravehearts in every second of the game. “I hope we inspire the nation and make people happy,” said captain Andy Robertson. It didn’t work out, at least initially, which is why the iconic duel at London’s Wembley Stadium is all the more important now.
Strong not only because of his hits
Then the Scots must show more class and, above all, ultimate strength. Inspired by the emotional singing and cheers of the 9,847 spectators, the Tartan army presented itself with full vigor against the Czech Republic. It was usually dangerous when Liverpool star Robertson stepped to the left. Tomas Vaklick (Sevilla FC) brilliantly thwarted his shot from the edge of the penalty area to form the biggest Scottish chance (32.).
What Klopp hero Robertson was to the Scots, Hertha’s Vladimir Darida was to the Czechs who, unlike the British, have been a permanent guest at the European Championship for 25 years. Darida was a fixed point in the guests’ game, but like everyone else he was under Schick’s shadow.
Leverkusen Schick presented itself not only because of its hits. Prior to this, he had failed with only a narrowly straight reduction to Scottish goalkeeper David Marshall, who made it possible to participate in the finals as a penalty hero in the playoffs (16). When Schick placed a header after a right cross from Vladimir Kaufal, Marshall was powerless.
simple long range shot
After a fierce and balanced first half, the feud between Marshall and Schick continued after the break. Leverkusen tested the Scottish goalkeeper again (46th). Almost in turn, the hosts reported back when Jack Hendry hit the bar from 17m (48th). The famous Hampden roar, the distinctive murmur at the National Stadium, rang.
And when Vklik stopped his own goal by Tomas Kalas with a brilliant performance, the crowd came back with a swan (49th).
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until Schick struck again. The 25-year-old realized with a brilliant long-range shot that Marshall was standing too far in front of the target. He continued the Bundesliga’s good scoring record: it was the eighth tournament goal by a professional employed in Germany. Poland’s world footballer Robert Lewandowski is yet to come from FC Bayern.
Scotland according to its nature did not give up. Stuart Armstrong (61.) and Lyndon Dykes could not even beat Seville’s goalkeeper Vaclick (62./67). After the Tartan Army were able to win both Nations League doubles in the autumn, this time there was a strong mood. (dpa)
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