Euro 2020: Schick’s brilliant brace lifts Czech Republic over Scotland

Patrik Schick Czech Republic Euro 2020 Scotland
Czech Republic’s Patrik Schick celebrates scoring their first goal
Pool via REUTERS/Lee Smith

A pair of teams mired in the 40s of FIFA’s world rankings normally won’t do much to move the meter at major international tournaments, but Patrik Schick provided a brilliant display and potentially the goal of Euro 2020 in the Czech Republic’s 2-0 victory over Scotland on Monday in Group D action.

Schick, who plays his club soccer for the German side Bayer Leverkusen, scored both of the Czech Republic’s goals in Hampden Park, which is located in Scotland’s capital of Glasgow to take an early Group D lead on goal difference ahead of high-powered England, who defeated Croatia on Sunday. 

The Czech’s star forward opened the scoring in the 42nd minute when he was able to drive home a header from Vladimir Coufa that sailed just beyond the reach of Scotland keeper David Marshall.

But it was his second goal that not only stunned the world soccer stage, but put him on the map when he launched a shot from roughly 50 yards away from goal with Marshall standing at the edge of his box with play muddled in the midfield. Schick’s effort was perfect, finding the back netting on the fly while giving Marshall no chance to get a glove on it.

It was the longest goal at the European Championships since 1980.

Scotland was rarely on its back foot for most of the match. In fact, they had the edge in possession at 57% and attempted 18 shots compared to the Czech Republic’s 10, though only four of them went on target. But Czech keeper Tomás Vaclík was unbeatable when called upon, including a massive toe save on a golden chance from Lyndon Dykes alone in the box from inside the box in the 66th minute.

He was also bailed out by the crossbar when Jack Hendry struck the woodwork just four minutes before Schick’s wonder goal.

It was hardly the outing that Scotland and its 10,000 fans wanted to see on Sunday as it was their first appearance at a major tournament since 1998 when they were swiftly eliminated during the group stage at the World Cup in France.