Euro 2020: Czech Republic sink Scotland with stunning Patrik Schick goal

Patrik Schick has scored one of the most remarkable goals in tournament history, as Czech Republic beat Scotland 2-0 to get their Euro 2020 campaign off to a flying start and deflate home hopes in Glasgow.

Schick, who had also netted an excellent header in the first half, doubled his tally after the break with a curling, looping effort from just inside the Scotland half, after spotting home keeper David Marshall far off his line.

At 49.7 yards, the Bayer Leverkusen forward's astonishing effort was officially the furthest recorded distance from which a goal has been scored at the European Championship.

"We know he is a genius and he knows how to finish," Czech coach Jaroslav Silhavy says. "The second goal was something out of this world."

Schick described his effort as "a cherry [on the cake]" and added mischievously that he had clocked Marshall frequently advancing up the pitch earlier in the match.

Scotland had battled gamely on their return to tournament football after a 23-year absence and spurned several excellent chances of their own.

The game would have had a different complexion had Jack Hendry found the net instead of cracking an effort against the bar early in the second half, while Lyndon Dykes was guilty of wasting two superb opportunities.

"It's a tough lesson for us that, at the highest level, at the best tournaments, you have to take your chances," says Scotland captain Andy Robertson. "Czech Republic did that, we didn't."

While Scotland were profligate, the Czechs were worthy winners, soaking up Scottish pressure in the first half and quieting a noisy Hampden Park crowd, who were seeing their side play in a major tournament for the first time since the 1998 World Cup.

The result left the Czechs on three points, level at the top of Group D with England, who beat Croatia 1-0 on Sunday, while Scotland will already be feeling nervous about their prospects for their next game against England on Friday, when the Czechs also face Croatia.

Scotland began the game at full throttle, fuelled by a vociferous home crowd, who seemed to defy the fact that there were fewer than 10,000 of them in the stadium.

Frustrated Spain held to goaless draw by Sweden

SEVILLE, SPAIN - JUNE 14: Alvaro Morata of Spain competes for the ball with Victor Lindelof of Sweden during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group E match between Spain and Sweden at Estadio La Cartuja on June 14, 2021 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Photo credit: Getty Images

Spain Coach Luis Enrique was left with more questions than answers after his side dominated Sweden in their Group E opener on Monday but ended up being held to the first 0-0 draw of Euro 2020.

A first home game for Spain in a tournament finals since the 1982 World Cup began encouragingly but fizzled out into anti-climax as their attacking threat was absorbed into the giant yellow sponge in front of them.

According to Opta Stats, Spain attempted 917 passes and enjoyed 85 percent possession - the highest numbers seen at a European Championship since 1980.

But just as in their World Cup exit against Russia in 2018, when they recorded very similar figures, the Spanish displayed a worrying lack of cutting edge that will hearten the players of Poland and Slovakia who face Spain next in the group.

The second half, in particular, became all too comfortable for a stoic and disciplined Swedish who, despite spending the whole match camped in their own half, still managed to create two of the game's best chances.

Luis Enrique sprung a surprise when he gave a start to Barcelona's teenage midfielder Pedri in his 4-3-3 formation.

Despite showing classy touches, Pedri struggled to impose himself although it was a tough game in which to judge him.

Criticism will be levelled at Spain's forward trio of Ferran Torres, Dani Olmo and Alvaro Morata, however, none of whom finished the game.

Olmo looked lively enough and had one header superbly saved by Sweden keeper Robin Olsen, while Morata wasted his side's best opportunity in the first half when he curled wide when he should have scored.

Luis Enrique persevered until the 66th minute when Morata, who was booed by fans in a recent friendly and did little to win over his critics, was replaced by midfielder Pablo Sarabria - a switch that left Spain with no striker on the pitch.

Sarabria did offer width and when Luis Enrique sent on Villarreal's Gerard Moreno for Olmo in the 74th minute he almost came up trumps with Moreno forcing a great late save from Olsen.

It all felt a little too late though and Enrique might well wonder whether introducing the pace and power of Adama Traore might not have done more to unhinge the Swedish door.

Spain right back Marcos Llorente summed up the frustration in colourful fashion.

"What a weird feeling," he said. "We created so many chances and simply weren't effective with them.

"In fact we created a rainbow of different chances and there are just some days when the ball refuses to go in."

The stalemate means Spain have won only one of their last six opening games in tournaments - a 1-0 victory over the Czech Republic at Euro 2016 when they lost to Italy in the last 16.

Luis Enrique is unlikely to suffer any knee jerk reaction, after all a draw in the opening game is not a calamity.

But he may well be tempted to shake up the forwards on Saturday against Poland with Moreno, who scored 32 goals this season, in the frame to replace Morata.

Thiago, who replaced Rodri in midfield after 66 minutes, could also offer a more three-dimensional range of passing if Spain again find themselves facing a massed defence.

For Sweden, however limited their game plan appeared the ends clearly justified the means.

"We don't care too much about how many passes they have as long as they don't have too much time in the centre," defensive rock Victor Lindelof said.

"The longer the game went on the more frustrated they became."

Skriniar shines as Slovakia sink 10-man Poland 

Marek Hamsik celebrates the 2-1 win.
Marek Hamsik celebrates the 2-1 win. Photo credit: Getty Images

Slovakia defender Milan Skriniar has capped a memorable afternoon, as he complimented a superb all-round display with the winner in their 2-1 win over 10-man Poland in the opening Euro 2020 Group E clash.

The 26-year-old centre back netted with a superb 69th-minute shot into the bottom right corner, after Poland had midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak sent off in the 62nd for a second yellow card.

Slovakia took an 18th-minute lead out of the blue through an own goal by Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, before Karol Linetty equalised in the 46th.

Poland were on the front foot in the opening stages, but fell behind, as Robert Mak beat two defenders on the left flank with neat footwork and cut inside, before his shot hit the post and rebounded off Szczesny into the net.

Slovakia continued to soak up the pressure, but always looked dangerous on the break and their central midfielder Juraj Kucka curled a long-range effort over the bar in the 27th minute.

Krychowiak came up with Poland's first meaningful effort, when his shot from 25 metres sailed over, with Slovakia's compact defence cutting out the supply routes to striker Robert Lewandowski.

Poland's top scorer Lewandowski failed to make an impact in the first half and scuffed an attempt from inside the penalty area woefully wide in the 42nd minute.

Poland levelled 30 seconds after the break, as Mateusz Klich released Maciej Rybus and the left-back squared the ball back for Linetty to scramble a close-range shot into the far corner.

The Poles were left with 10 men, after Krychowiak received his marching orders for a clumsy challenge on an opponent and Skriniar, who man-marked Lewandowski out of the game, struck with some aplomb at the other end.

The Poles failed to clear a corner and Skriniar, who won the Serie A league title with Inter Milan this season, gave Szczesny no chance with his fierce low shot from 14 metres.

Lewandowski glanced a close-range header wide in the 87th minute, as Poland pressed in the closing stages and Jan Bednarek missed their final chance in stoppage time, when he fired wide from inside the penalty area. 

Reuters