Scott Brown (left) scored the winner at Hampden Park
By Clive Lindsay
Scott Brown's goal gave Craig Levein a winning start as Scotland coach despite future Euro 2012 opponents Czech Republic dominating much of the game.
Striker Vaclav Sverkos was denied by fine saves from Scotland keeper Craig Gordon either side of the break, while Graham Dorrans cleared off the line.
A Barry Robson free-kick stung the fingers of keeper Jaroslav Drobny with Scotland's first threat on 44 minutes.
But Brown stabbed the winner after 62 minutes from Robson's header back.
Scotland had been forced on to the back foot from the kick off by a fluent Czech side and it only took a few minutes for Jaroslav Plasil to send a low drive a couple feet wide from 22 yards.
Levein had to alter his starting line-up before kick-off when James McFadden was ruled out of the friendly at Hampden Park with a groin injury.
Levein was delighted to record a rare Hampden friendly win
West Brom's Dorrans replaced the Birmingham forward, but it meant that the Scots lacked a natural wide man against the side they will face in Group I in the European Championship campaign.
Andy Webster, earning his first cap for four years, settled quickly in central defence along with Gary Caldwell and made a couple of timely interceptions early on.
Kenny Miller was Scotland's lone striker, with Rangers team-mate Kris Boyd having to wait on the bench for his return to international football after having refused to be considered for selection under previous boss George Burley.
Miller was an isolated figure up front as Plasil ought to have given the visitors the lead when he rose unchallenged to meet a Michel Kadlec free-kick but headed over from five yards.
A dangerous Tomas Rosicky free-kick found Sverkos charging in at the back post, but the striker played the ball into the side netting on the stretch.
Even Darren Fletcher, fresh from helping Manchester United to Carling Cup glory on Sunday, was looking hesitant for Scotland and, when his poor pass was intercepted by Rosicky, the Arsenal man's neat flick gave Sverkos a clear sight at goal.
However, Gordon did well to turn wide the striker's drive from just inside the area.
Another Rosicky free-kick evaded everyone inside the Scotland penalty area and Dorrans cleared off the goalline.
It took the Scots 33 minutes to win their first corner after a fine Dorrans through ball gave Robson the opportunity to send in a dangerous cross that was headed clear ahead of the inrushing Miller.
The set-piece came to nothing but seemed to shake Scotland out of their lethargy and they began to exert some pressure.
Robson forced Drobny into his first save only seconds before the break, firing in a 20-yard free-kick that the goalkeeper pushed wide at full stretch as the ball powered towards the far top corner.
Levein brought off Webster and midfielder Kevin Thomson at half-time, replacing them with Christophe Berra and Paul Hartley, and it was the Czechs who regained control.
Rosicky set up Sverkos 16 yards out and Gordon did well to turn the striker's drive over the crossbar.
Scotland were under extreme pressure but took the lead against the run of play after 62 minutes.
Wallace sent a cross deep to the back post and, when Robson headed it back into the danger area, Brown drove the ball into the corner of the net from eight yards.
Boyd replaced the tiring Miller immediately after the goal and fears of a mass of jeering from the Tartan Army were dispelled as he was given a rousing reception.
Czech substitute Rudi Skacel warmed the hands of former Hearts team-mate Gordon with a couple of long-range drives, but the Scots looked the more dangerous on the break in the dying minutes.
Boyd had the ball in the net from a Charlie Adam through ball but was pulled up for offside, while Steven Whittaker forced a fine save from Drobny.
However, one goal was enough to give Scotland their first victory in a Hampden friendly for 14 years and, as Levein had stressed before the game, winning his first game in charge had been more important than the performance.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.