90 min: A chance for Krmencick, sent free into the box by Coufal’s flicked header down the inside-right channel. Marshall stands tall and parries. “It’s poor solace, but for me at least Scotland haven’t played badly at all,” begins Matthew Richman, in an email headed ‘Straw clutching’. “Out of two excellent keeping performances, Marshall may feel unlucky he conceded to two world class finishes. Would have liked to see more clinical work up front, but for the first time in a long time I absolutely believe Scotland belong on this stage.”
89 min: The Czechs play a little keep-ball, forcing Scotland deep. The wrong end of the pitch for those hoping for a miracle.
85 min: Fraser slips a pass down the left for Robertson, who loops long. Forrest, at the far post, opts to roll inside for Adams rather than taking on the shot himself. Wrong decision. Nice move, though. It’s not as though Scotland have been totally impotent this afternoon; the ball – and even the best need a bit of luck – has resolutely refused to break their way.
84 min: Forrest does his level best to recreate Archie Gemmill’s famous goal from 1978, dribbling in from the right, beating two men, going right then left, only for his shot to be deflected over the bar by Celustka. That was nearly something very special. The resulting corner comes to nothing.
82 min: Adams sends Nisbet off down the inside-left channel. His shot deflects off Kalas and softly into the arms of Vaclik.
81 min: McGinn thinks he’s been fouled as he romps up the middle, but the referee waves play on. The Czechs counter, and suddenly Hlozek is found down the left in acres. He crosses low for Schick, who whistles an instant low drive straight at Marshall. So close to a hat-trick. “Remind me not to babysit for my grandson next time Scotland play,” writes Karen Brigden. “My youngest son supports Scotland and because of his ‘enthusiasm’ my beautiful, innocent two year old grandson now has a couple of new words added to his vocabulary.”
79 min: Scotland make another double change. Nisbet and Forrest come on for O’Donnell and Dykes.
77 min: A free kick for Scotland out on the right. O’Donnell swings it in. Cooper wins a header, the ball breaking to McTominay, just to the right of the six-yard box. McTominay shapes like Zinedine Zidane did at this stadium in the 2002 Champions League final … but not with similar results. He flays his effort miles over the bar.
76 min: The match eventually restarts, and in the scrappy style. The clock is not Scotland’s friend here.
74 min: Dykes has accidentally slapped Kalas in the mush, drawing blood. A silent Hampden watches on as time ticks by.
72 min: A double change for the Czechs. Jankto and Masopust make way for Hlozek and Vydra of Burnley.
70 min: “I’m certainly no expert of halfway line goals,” begins Matt Burtz, “but I just rewatched David Beckham’s famous one, and he basically had two to three seconds to size up the situation and line up his shot. Schick had more or less half a second to pick his spot and deliver a perfectly weighted and sliced shot that many a golfer trying to get around a tree would be proud of, and one that landed in the goal to boot. Phenomenal effort.” Oh yeah, it was a sensational piece of skill, no doubt. Just the sort of lightning strike that only seems to happen to Scotland in major tournaments. Needless to say, there was a Scottish international goalkeeper in between the sticks for Wimbledon when Beckham scored as well in Neil Sullivan.
68 min: Scotland make a double change. Off go Hendry and Armstrong, on come McGregor and Fraser. McTominay takes Hendry’s place at the back.
66 min: Dykes misses an absolute sitter! Hendry crosses deep from the right. McGinn and Adams help the ball through to Dykes, ten yards out and free, level with the left-hand post. He opens his body and aims for the bottom left. Too casual. Vaclik is able to stick out a leg. A brilliant reaction save, but he should never have been allowed to make it.
65 min: … but Robertson finds a little down the left and wins a corner. From the set piece, Hanley loops a header towards goal, but it’s a soft one, and easy for Vaclik.
64 min: Scotland are seeing more of the ball at the moment, but to little effect. The Czechs are holding their shape well. Not a great deal of space.
62 min: From the resulting corner, Adams wins a header that drops to Dykes, six yards out. Dykes sticks out a leg and pokes towards the bottom left. Vaclik smothers bravely at his feet.
61 min: They nearly get it, as Armstrong barges his way down the middle and looks for the top left. Kalas sticks out a leg and deflects the ball past a stranded Vaclik … but inches over the bar. So close. So unlucky.
60 min: Robertson busies himself down the left but can’t get the better of Coufal. Goal kick. Scotland need something and quick.
58 min: The ball bounces around in the Czech box. Dykes tries his level best to bring it under control, but it won’t obey. You can hear a pin drop in Hampden at the moment. That other-worldly goal by Schick has taken the wind out of many a sail.
55 min: Darida latches onto a loose ball, just to the left of the D, and curls inches over the bar. For a second, that looked like nestling into the top-right corner. Scotland need to shake themselves down and quick.
54 min: That was at once an amazing finish, and one of those absurd moments Scotland specialise in. Not sure what Hendry was thinking about, shooting from so far out, but he wouldn’t have expected to be punished for his ambition like that.
This is a quintessentially Scottish major-tournament moment. Hendry tries again from distance. His shot is blocked, and rebounds straight to Schick, who romps forward. He spots Marshall miles off his line, so attempts one from just inside his own half! He sends a booming curler over the keeper and into the top left!
50 min: Hanley slides in, leg extended. Coufal stands on his heel, accidentally so. That’s a sore one, and the physio is on.
49 min: This is also something! Robertson looks long for Dykes and Armstrong. Kalas slices over his own keeper. A complete shinner. Vaclik turns, races back, and claws away, just as Dykes was preparing to trundle home.
48 min: This is better! Robertson swings one in from the left. Vaclik palms it out. McGinn brings it down, and tees up Hendry, who curls a shot from the edge of the box off the top of the bar!
47 min: Scotland clear it, but that’s an appalling start to the second half from the hosts, who shipped two chances in quick succession.
46 min: The Czechs are on the attack immediately, Marshall forced into two saves in quick succession, first from Schick, breaking down the right, then from Darida, who robs McTominay and whistles one towards the bottom left. Corner.
The Czechs get the second half underway. Scotland have made a change at the break. On comes Che Adams – four caps, two goals already – taking the place of Ryan Christie.
Half-time analysis. Scotland had 52 percent of possession during that first half, and took six attempts at goal. Just the one on target, though. The Czechs got two on target out of four. Anis Aslaam adds: “One of the joys of supporting Scotland is that they’re traditionally able to be attractively heroic and heartbreakingly tragic in equal measure. Based on the first-half performance, they’re still holding true to the tradition.”
Half-time entertainment. It’s probably not the ideal time to trail this, but Jonathan Wilson’s overall point stands.
There wasn’t too much in it, but Scotland cracked after conceding a string of corners towards the end of the half. Patrik Schick’s header was a fine one, though. “Shickening,” quips Maia Harper.
45 min +1: Christie dribbles down the left and crosses. Dykes can’t get a head on the ball. The Czechs half clear. McTominay drives with purpose down the middle, and runs slap, bang into Boril. He wants a penalty, but he’s not getting one. You’ve seen them given, but it would have been extremely soft.
43 min: Hampden roars in defiance. But that had been coming, after a series of corners and even more crosses. Great header, too.
Coufal bombs down the right on the overlap and swings it in. O’Donnell can’t close him down. Schick rises above Cooper and plants a header out of Marshall’s reach and into the bottom left.
41 min: One corner leads to another, Jankto winning this one off McTominay. He sends this one in from the left. Hanley eyebrows it clear … but then …
40 min: Some space for Masopust down the right. He wins a corner off Cooper. Darida sends a weird outswinger 40 yards back up the field, but Kral retrieves the situation and wins another corner off O’Donnell, this time out left.
39 min: More scrappiness now. Scotland will be happy enough with this, though, as they slowly reacquaint themselves with the major-tournament scene.
35 min: A replay of that corner on 32 minutes. McGinn took a whack from distance that was easily blocked, Scotland claiming Masopust did so with his hand. The ball did hit his arm, but it was in a natural position by his body, and there was no way it was a penalty kick.
34 min: More space for Robertson down the left. He loops a fine cross into the centre. Armstrong is racing in with a view to battering a header home, but he’s denied by Celustka’s clearance. Much better from Scotland, who had gone quiet for a bit back there.
32 min: A Scotland throw from the right. It flicks off Soucek’s head to Christie, who rolls a Pele-to-Carlos-Alberto style ball out left for Robertson. The resulting rising drive isn’t quite up there with the finishing touch to the 1970 World Cup final, but it does require tipping over by Vaclik. Shame. That would have been picture-book pretty. Nothing comes of the resulting corner.
30 min: Masopust, Schick and Jankto, right to left, combine well, pushing Scotland back in a panic. The ball’s looped into the mixer, and nearly drops for Soucek on the penalty spot. Fortunately for Scotland, he can’t quite get his bearings. Marshall eventually claims.
26 min: Coufal stands on Robertson’s boot and somehow wins a free kick. Hampden responds with some pantomime booing.
24 min: Cooper passes long down the middle for Dykes, who very nearly brings the ball down. Had he managed it, he was through on goal. “Dykes looks more like Gazza ‘96 than Phil Foden did yesterday,” opines Justin Kavanagh. “Mind you, unlike the former Glasgow Ranger against Germany that year, he has already managed to get on the end of a low cross after a long, lung-busting run.” Justin is The Weaver.
23 min: Masopust turns on the jets down the right. Just as it looks like he’s made some space for himself, Robertson arrives to close it down, then shepherd him out for a goal kick.
21 min: Christie drops a shoulder and jinks between Boril and Kalas on the right. He’s racing towards the Czech box when he’s clumsily blocked off by O’Donnell, who is having an absolute shocker so far. Brilliant run by Christie, though.
20 min: Jankto is causing Scotland some bother down the left. He wins another corner, forcing Hanley to head his cross behind. Fortunately for the hosts, the corner is a non-event, nobody attacking Jankto’s delivery. Some worrying signs for Scotland.