Christie penalty enables Scots to take spoils against Czechs
Dykes 27 Christie 52 pen
A potentially ignominious evening for Steve Clarke and Scotland in Olomouc ended with a victory that put the Scots on top of their Nations League group, but only after a nerve-shredding closing period in which a header from Antonin Rusek smacked off the post.
The proceedings had begun in even more painful fashion when against a Czech side featuring no fewer than nine players making their debuts as full internationals, Scotland conceded the opening goal to Jakup Pesek.
An opportunist equaliser by Lyndon Dykes gave the Scots a foothold that they exploited by scoring their decisive second goal six minutes into the second half, when Tomas Malinsky fouled Andrew Robertson for a penalty kick that was contell verted by Ryan Christie for an advantage which was only just maintained until the final whistle.
After Scotland’s sluggish 1-1 draw with Israel in the campaign opener at Hampden Park on Friday, this expedition offered the alarming possibility of a debacle for Clarke and his side, against opponents whose original squad and coaching staff had been forced to self-isolate when two players tested positive for Covid-19 after their 3-1 victory over Slovakia in Bratislava.
Only two of the 24-man Czech squad had been capped previously, but one of them – Roman Hubnik – had the talismanic distinction of having scored the decisive goal in the 1-0 win over Scotland in a Euro qualifier Prague in 2010, when Craig Levein wrote himself into the
Decisive penalty: Ryan Christie (right) celebrates his winner with Liam Palmer