Christie penalty en­ables Scots to take spoils against Czechs

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Football - By Roddy Forsyth SCOT­TISH FOOT­BALL COR­RE­SPON­DENT

Pe­sek 11

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

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