Steve Clarke: ‘It wasn’t Scotland’s day’

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Steve Clarke has said that Scotland were unlucky to lose their opening Euro 2020 match against Czech Republic.

A Patrik Schick double gave Czech Republic the win and Scotland now face an uphill task to qualify.

They play England at Wembley on Friday before welcoming Croatia to Hampden Park next Tuesday.

“We came here to be competitive, I think we were competitive in the game. Sometimes a match doesn’t go your way, today was that day,” Clarke told reporters.

“I don’t think there was much between the two sides if I’m honest. If you look at our possession, our attempts at goal, we weren’t quite clinical enough at the right time.

“The breaks went against us at the wrong time. Losing a goal five minutes before half-time from a set play was disappointing. We normally defend that quite well.

“We came out for the second half and started quite well. Jack [Hendry] hit the bar and had another shot which got blocked, fell to their striker, and he produced a marvellous finish. From there it becomes a difficult afternoon.

“We showed good invention, chances to get back into the game and if we make it 2-1, it’s a different afternoon. I’m disappointed but ready for the next one.”

Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney missed out on the match through injury but Clarke is hopeful he will be available to face the Three Lions.

“Obviously, we’ve done a lot of work with team shape and Kieran was involved in that. With 48 hours to go, when he picks up the little niggle that keeps him out, it does take a little bit of changing, it changes the dynamic of the team.

“He’s been an integral part of how we’ve played recently, but I don’t think we defended too badly in the game. The moments that have got away from us, the first one’s preventable, the second one is a really good strike.

“He’s got a chance of being fit for Friday, we’ll work on him over the next few days.”

Schick opened the scoring with a first-half header before capitalising on a Scotland error to beat David Marshall from 50 yards.

Cover Photo: Flag of Scotland by Christoph Strassler used under license by CC BY-SA 2.0.

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