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Euro 2020: Schick stunner sinks Scotland, as Czech Republic make a winning start

11:44 PM Jun 15, 2021 | FPJ News Service

Glasgow: Patrik Schick scored twice, including one from near the halfway line, as Czech Republic made a winning start with a 2-0 win over Scotland, in the Euro 2020, Group in Group D encounter at the Hampden Park, here on Tuesday.

Scotland had the better of the half-chances in the opening half, with Lyndon Dykes sweeping wide of the near post and Andy Robertson drawing a fine save from Tomas Vaclik, but it was the visitors who struck the opening blow just before the interval when Schick expertly glanced in Vladimír Coufal's cross.

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"It's always hard to play against us: we have a lot of hardworking players. Scotland were a tough opponent. But we were ready for their tactics. [For my goal] I saw the goalkeeper off his line – I checked in the first half where he was standing," said the man of the match Czech Republic’s Patrik Schick who scored both the goals for them.

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The second half was much more open. David Marshall quickly had to deny Schick and Vladimir Darida, before Scotland roared back as Jack Hendry rattled the bar and Vaclik clawed away a mis-hit clearance from Tomas Kalas.

Despite the defeat the Scots were confident as it was too early to come to the conclusion about the outcome of the team in the Euro campaign. And it was a case of missed chances which let off the Scotland.

“We were confident, excited, and it comes down to not taking our chances. You can't say we've not created. We've had some really, really good chances that we should have done better with. If you do better on that, then it's a different game. It's a tough lesson for us that at the highest level, at the best tournaments, you have to take your chances. Czech Republic did that; we didn't," summed up

Andy Robertson, Scotland defender about the match.

The inspirational Schick would have the decisive say on 52 minutes, though, spotting Marshall off his line and lobbing the Scotland goalkeeper from close to the halfway line to stun Hampden Park.

Poland's Szczesny bad luck at Euros continues

St. Petersburg: Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny doesn't have much luck in his opening game at European Championships.

Sent off in 2012. Injured in 2016. Now an own-goal at Euro 2020.

The Juventus player became the first goalkeeper to score an own-goal at the tournament in Poland's 2-1 loss to Slovakia.

Not that he could do much about it.

Szczesny had already committed himself to a dive in an attempt to save a shot from Slovakia winger Robert Mak in the 18th minute when the ball rebounded off his near post, onto his outstretched arm as he lay on the ground, and back into the net.

He was also left helpless for Slovakia's winner by Milan Skriniar, barely moving as the center back hit a fierce, low shot into the corner in the 69th minute.

Szczesny has established himself as one of the most reliable goalkeepers in Europe, his reputation having soared since joining Juventus from Arsenal in 2017. Poland has long been well-stocked with keepers, with Lukasz Fabianski also a solid option, but Szczesny is the regular No. 1.

Major tournaments are not his friend, though.

In 2012, he was shown a red card in the opening game of a European Championship co-hosted by Poland, punished for a professional foul on Greece player Dimitris Salpingidis in the second half.

In 2016, and again in Poland's opening match, Szczesny damaged a thigh muscle against Northern Ireland and wound up missing the rest of the tournament.

The pain isn't just restricted to the European Championship.

In Poland's opening match of the 2018 World Cup, Szczesny gifted M'Baye Niang a goal for Senegal, which went on to win 2-1.

Sweden hold Spain

Seville: The chances came and went but neither Spain nor Sweden managed to put any of them in the net. Spain dominated possession and kept the pressure on the opposing area for most of the match but the Swedes held on for a 0-0 draw Monday at the European Championship.

Sweden managed only a few chances at La Cartuja Stadium, but they were some of the most dangerous ones. Alexander Isak, who plays for Spanish club Real Sociedad, had a shot from inside the area hit the post after deflecting off Spain defender Marcos Llorente in front of the goal line.

Early in the second half, Marcus Berg was inside the area with the ball coming his way, but he mishit his shot.

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