Czech Republic silence Tartan Army as Scotland lose Euro 2020 opener

The Czech Republic dashed Scotland's dream of a triumphant return to the tournament

Patrik Schick silenced a raucous Hampden Park with a stunning brace to derail Scotland's return to the footballing top table in their opening game at Euro 2020.

The Czech Republic frontman scored either side of half-time to be the ultimate party pooper.

His first, a towering header sucked the atmosphere out of the ground and his outrageous second - a driven lob from just inside the Scottish half over a back-pedalling David Marshall - knocked the stuffing out of the Tartan Army.

Scotland keeper David Marshall saw the ball from Schick sail over his head Credit: PA

After two decades in the international wilderness it was always going to take Scotland a little time to shake off their rust.

They had play-off hero Marshall to thank on the quarter-hour mark when Grant Hanley and O’Donnell tried to do too much down in the corner, with Schick forcing the goalkeeper into a decent save.

But Scotland almost clicked into gear a moment later as Dykes steered wide from Andy Robertson’s low cross.

The skipper himself was denied the opener by Tomas Vaclik’s fingertip save – but it was the Czechs who dampened the party atmosphere inside Hampden four minutes before the break.

Patrik Schick runs away after putting the Czech Republic 1-0 up Credit: PA

Scotland failed to clear a succession of corners and were made to pay when the ball was whipped into the box for Schick to rise highest near the penalty spot to power the header past Marshall.

He struck again five minutes into the second half leaving Scotland with a mountain to climb.

They almost hit back through Lyndon Dykes, forcing a good save from Vaclik, and Jack Hendry, who hit the bar.

Despite plenty of endeavour, Scotland could not get back into the game and the match slipped away from the home side - meaning their return to a major championship after a 23-year wait for Steve Clarke's side ended in bitter disappointment.

Next up for Scotland is England at Wembley on Friday, while the Czechs stay at Hampden to play Croatia - beaten by Gareth Southgate's men on Sunday.