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Football: Scotland beat stop-gap Czech side 2-1 in Nations League


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Football: Scotland beat stop-gap Czech side...

OLOMOUC, Czech Republic: Scotland’s Ryan Christie netted a second-half penalty to secure a 2-1 win in the Nations League on Monday away to a Czech side featuring nine players making their international debuts due to novel coronavirus concerns that forced wholesale changes.

The Czechs had a dream start to the League B Group 2 match when Jakub Pesek ran behind the defence and jinked a Stanislav Tecl pass beyond goalkeeper David Marshall to score.

Lyndon Dykes levelled for the visitors in the 27th minute after Liam Palmer found space down the right flank and crossed the ball into the penalty area for the Queens Park Rangers forward to direct the ball into the roof of the net.

Scotland then took the lead just after the break when Tomas Malinsky brought down Andy Robertson just inside the box and Christie converted from the spot.

Slavia Prague’s Tecl missed a golden chance to equalise in the 68th minute when he found himself with an opening in front of goal but could only scuff his shot wide.

Scotland lead the group on four points ahead of the Czechs with three, Israel two and Slovakia on one after two matches.

The Czechs had to assemble a squad of mainly newcomers led by Under-18 coach David Holoubek after disbanding the team that beat Slovakia 3-1 on Friday due to coronavirus concerns.

The home side had sought to call off the match, after a second team staff member tested positive for the virus.

Only 36-year-old defender Roman Hubnik with 29 appearances – the last in 2016 – and Tecl with five caps, had previously played for the national team.

“We had a difficult task today but all credit to the players who were able to show a display that we can be proud of,” said Holoubek. “But I’m disappointed because we did not get any reward for it.”

Scotland’s Dykes told Sky Sports: “It was a tough game. We came into hard conditions, given what’s happened, but in the end we got the three points so you couldn’t ask for any more.”

In the other Group 2 match Israel snatched a goal in added time to draw 1-1 at home to Slovakia.

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Scotland’s Ryan Christie netted a second-half penalty to secure a 2-1 win in the Nations League on Monday away to a Czech side featuring nine players making their international debuts due to novel coronavirus concerns that forced wholesale changes.

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