Armstrong urges Scotland to learn from Czech lesson


Glasgow (AFP) – Scotland midfielder Stuart Armstrong admitted his side must learn from the mistakes that condemned them to a 2-0 defeat against the Czech Republic in their Euro 2020 opener on Monday.

Scotland’s first appearance at a major tournament since the 1998 World Cup got off to the worst possible start as they lost in front of their own fans at Hampden Park.

Steve Clarke’s team trailed to Patrik Schick’s first-half header before the Czech forward netted again with a stunning strike from near the halfway line.

Schick’s breathtaking shot looped high over out-of-position goalkeeper David Marshall to puncture Scotland’s pre-tournament optimism.

Southampton midfielder Armstrong conceded there was a fatal lack of cutting edge from his side, who created several chances without managing to take one.

“The game was very compact, there wasn’t much space, and we were playing too many long balls for our liking. When we passed it, we did quite well but it was hard to break them down,” Armstrong said.

“Disappointed with the way the first goal went in. They showed real quality for the second goal. 

“They were clinical. At this level you do need to be clinical.”

Scotland have never qualified for the knockout stages of a major tournament.

Clarke’s men face a crucial clash with bitter rivals England at Wembley on Friday before their last Group D fixture against Croatia next week.

Armstrong urged the Scots to show they can process the failures of their first game and improve against England.

“We need to take the experiences of today, learn from what happened and make a few little tweaks to our game,” he said.

“Fundamentally there were some positive moments and we have to carry that through to Friday.

“We’ve got two chances to produce a good performance and get something from it.”

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