UEFA Nations League - Group B2
ScotlandScotland1Czech RepCzech Republic0

Scotland 1-0 Czech Republic: Hosts extend unbeaten run to eight games

By Martin WattBBC Scotland
Ryan Fraser's early goal gave Scotland the lead at Hampden
Ryan Fraser's early goal gave Scotland the lead at Hampden

Scotland made it eight games unbeaten - their best run in 32 years - as they resisted intense second-half pressure for a hard-fought Nations League win over the Czech Republic at Hampden.

Ryan Fraser's sixth-minute finish gave the hosts a lead they clung on to.

Steve Clarke's men defended resolutely - and were grateful for an incredible Tomas Soucek miss - to go four points clear at the top of Group B.

Their next assignment is the Euro 2020 play-off final in Serbia next month.

Fraser twice threatened a second before the break, and substitute Oli McBurnie smacked the crossbar late on.

But Scotland rode their luck amid a Czech onslaught to secure a third consecutive clean sheet and match the eight-game undefeated streak of Andy Roxburgh's side of 1987-88.

The makeshift Czech side beaten at home by Scotland last month had been stood down, and the quality of the returning regulars was clear.

It was Scotland, though, who made the early breakthrough in an entertaining first half. Stephen O'Donnell harried Lukas Provod out of possession on the right, then shifted the ball to Lyndon Dykes.

The striker gave his marker the slip then played in Fraser to slide a low finish past Tomas Vaclik for his second Scotland goal.

The bedrock of Scotland's revival under Clarke has been their defence, and it was tested to breaking point in the most difficult game of their fine recent run.

Table

Burnley striker Matej Vydra missed two glaring chances for the Czechs in each half, blazing wide at the back post then firing across goal from a tight angle.

There was a further let-off for Scotland when defender Andrew Considine's penalty-box shirt pull on Soucek went unpunished.

Clarke's side carried a threat of their own before half-time. Fraser curled an effort narrowly past the post before a terrific counter-attack sent him scampering clear to lash one just too high.

The second half, though, was all about survival. The Czech chances piled up as David Marshall saved a Vydra flick, Soucek nodded wide, and John McGinn made a goal-saving intervention as he nicked the ball off the toe of Alex Kral.

There was a debut for Hibernian defender Paul Hanlon as Scotland battened down the hatches.

And when the ball dropped to Soucek three yards out with an empty net gaping, only for the West Ham midfielder to scoop the ball over, Scotland knew it was their night.

Man of the match - Ryan Fraser

Ryan Fraser
While the defence was collectively superb, Fraser stood out for his excellent goal and intelligent forward play

What did we learn?

Clarke may just have struck gold with the unorthodox little-and-large pairing of Dykes and Fraser up front. Fraser, an impish winger by trade, provides the pace to complement Dykes' physicality.

They linked well, as evidenced by the goal, in their second successive start together and now look Clarke's preferred forward line for the seismic showdown in Serbia.

Scotland head into that tie on a wave of momentum and confidence that has fans believing the 23-year absence from major finals can finally be consigned to history. The spirit and unity of Clarke's team shone through as they doggedly refused to accept anything else than victory.

Match stats

  • Scotland have gone eight games unbeaten (W6 D2), after losing their previous four.
  • They have beaten the Czechs in the last three meetings of the sides.
  • Scotland have registered three consecutive clean sheets for the first time since October 2017.
  • Lyndon Dykes has been directly involved in seven goals in his last 11 games for club and country (6 goals, 1 assist).
  • Ryan Fraser has been directly involved in six goals in his last eight starts for Scotland (two goals, four assists).

What's next?

The big one - Scotland head to Belgrade on 12 November for a one-off play-off against Serbia to decide which side goes through to the Euro 2020 finals next summer.

Player of the match

ConsidineAndrew Considine

with an average of 8.16

Scotland

  1. Squad number23Player nameConsidine
    Average rating

    8.16

  2. Squad number17Player nameFraser
    Average rating

    7.43

  3. Squad number7Player nameMcGinn
    Average rating

    7.39

  4. Squad number9Player nameDykes
    Average rating

    7.08

  5. Squad number5Player nameGallagher
    Average rating

    6.85

  6. Squad number1Player nameMarshall
    Average rating

    6.85

  7. Squad number4Player nameMcTominay
    Average rating

    6.68

  8. Squad number8Player nameJack
    Average rating

    6.40

  9. Squad number2Player nameO'Donnell
    Average rating

    6.08

  10. Squad number10Player nameMcGregor
    Average rating

    5.93

  11. Squad number11Player nameMcBurnie
    Average rating

    5.92

  12. Squad number14Player nameMcLean
    Average rating

    5.84

  13. Squad number18Player nameTaylor
    Average rating

    5.78

  14. Squad number16Player nameHanlon
    Average rating

    5.30

  15. Squad number13Player namePaterson
    Average rating

    5.20

Czech Republic

  1. Squad number15Player nameSoucek
    Average rating

    5.20

  2. Squad number20Player nameVydra
    Average rating

    5.08

  3. Squad number21Player nameKral
    Average rating

    4.94

  4. Squad number18Player nameBoril
    Average rating

    4.94

  5. Squad number5Player nameCoufal
    Average rating

    4.84

  6. Squad number17Player nameKudela
    Average rating

    4.80

  7. Squad number12Player nameMasopust
    Average rating

    4.79

  8. Squad number8Player nameDarida
    Average rating

    4.72

  9. Squad number10Player nameProvod
    Average rating

    4.71

  10. Squad number7Player namePoznar
    Average rating

    4.60

  11. Squad number3Player nameCelustka
    Average rating

    4.56

  12. Squad number6Player nameHovorka
    Average rating

    4.56

  13. Squad number1Player nameVaclik
    Average rating

    4.55

  14. Squad number13Player nameSevcik
    Average rating

    4.55

  15. Squad number2Player nameKaderábek
    Average rating

    4.51

  16. Squad number19Player nameRabusic
    Average rating

    4.39

Line-ups

Scotland

  • 1MarshallBooked at 81mins
  • 4McTominay
  • 5Gallagher
  • 23Considine
  • 2O'Donnell
  • 8Jack
  • 10McGregor
  • 18TaylorSubstituted forHanlonat 79'minutes
  • 7McGinnSubstituted forPatersonat 79'minutes
  • 9DykesBooked at 51minsSubstituted forMcBurnieat 65'minutes
  • 17FraserSubstituted forMcLeanat 70'minutes

Substitutes

  • 11McBurnie
  • 12McLaughlin
  • 13Paterson
  • 14McLean
  • 15Porteous
  • 16Hanlon
  • 20McCrorie
  • 21McCrorie
  • 22McGinn

Czech Rep

  • 1Vaclik
  • 5Coufal
  • 3CelustkaSubstituted forHovorkaat 20'minutes
  • 17Kudela
  • 18BorilBooked at 42mins
  • 15Soucek
  • 21KralSubstituted forKaderábekat 77'minutes
  • 12MasopustSubstituted forPoznarat 65'minutes
  • 8Darida
  • 10ProvodSubstituted forSevcikat 65'minutes
  • 20VydraSubstituted forRabusicat 77'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Kaderábek
  • 4Petrásek
  • 6Hovorka
  • 7Poznar
  • 9Sacek
  • 11Mateju
  • 13Sevcik
  • 14Malinsky
  • 16Nguyen
  • 19Rabusic
  • 22Novák
  • 23Koubek
Referee:
Felix Zwayer
Attendance:
299

Match Stats

Home TeamScotlandAway TeamCzech Rep
Possession
Home31%
Away69%
Shots
Home5
Away16
Shots on Target
Home1
Away6
Corners
Home1
Away12
Fouls
Home9
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Scotland 1, Czech Republic 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Scotland 1, Czech Republic 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Michael Rabusic (Czech Republic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Petr Sevcik.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Czech Republic. Conceded by David Marshall.

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jan Boril (Czech Republic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Vladimír Darida.

  6. Post update

    Hand ball by Vladimir Coufal (Czech Republic).

  7. Post update

    Corner, Czech Republic. Conceded by Kenny McLean.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Czech Republic. Conceded by Andrew Considine.

  9. Post update

    Oliver McBurnie (Scotland) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Callum Paterson.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Michael Rabusic (Czech Republic).

  11. Post update

    Paul Hanlon (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Tomas Soucek (Czech Republic) right footed shot from very close range is just a bit too high.

  13. Post update

    Jan Boril (Czech Republic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Declan Gallagher (Scotland).

  15. Booking

    David Marshall (Scotland) is shown the yellow card.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Tomás Poznar (Czech Republic).

  17. Post update

    Scott McTominay (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Scotland. Callum Paterson replaces John McGinn.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Scotland. Paul Hanlon replaces Greg Taylor.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Czech Republic. Michael Rabusic replaces Matej Vydra.

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