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Page last updated at 14:55 GMT, Friday, 30 May 2008 15:55 UK

Czech Rep-Scotland as it happened

FINAL SCORE
Czech Republic 3-1 Scotland
Match report

GOALFLASHES AND MAJOR INCIDENTS (all times BST)

606: DEBATE
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By David Sharp

1830: Who says friendly games are meaningless? I rather enjoyed that one. It positively shimmered with significance. Thanks again for all your rants and raves. Catch you again soon.

1826: "Ach well, it's no like they've turned us over. We've played no bad stuff." thelionroared on 606
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Last word goes to the roaring lion. Can't argue with that.

1824: The Czech Republic ran out deserved winners in the end but a depleted Scotland did well to contain them and at least created some decent chances themselves. And that was some goal by Clarkson!

Perhaps George Burley's Scotland will be more expansive and adventurous going forward than either Walter Smith's or Alex McLeish's stuffier, cagier teams?

If Scotland have any chance of getting to South Africa then they'll have to be postive and take more risks.

1820: FULL-TIME. Czech Republic 3-1 Scotland.

1818: Sionko only scored three times during his ill-fated stint at Ibrox under the equally doomed Paul LeGuen. He's grabbed two corkers tonight. What gives?

1817: GOAL. Czech Republic 3-1 Scotland. Another terrific goal from Libor Sionko. To borrow some Wimbledon parlance - that's game, set and match to the Czechs. Scotland were pushing forward for an equaliser and left themselves wide open to a clinical sucker-punch goal.

1816: "What a goal!"
BBC Scotland pundit Billy Dodds

Yer darn tootin' Billy!

1815: Clarkson's finish was Denis Bergkamp-esque. Magical stuff.

1813: GOAL. Czech Republic 2-1 Scotland. It's raining goals! David Clarkson kills Maloney's cross dead as a dodo and spins on a sixpence before rifling the ball past Cech. Scotland are back in it with five minutes to play. A classy debut goal for Clarkson.

1811: GOAL. Czech Republic 2-0 Scotland. Celtic transfer target Michal Kadlec grabs his first goal for his country and doubles their lead. Slack defending from Scotland. Gordon is furious. Kadlec skinned McNaughton and hit a thunderbolt which flew past Gordon, who was rooted to the spot. Superb strike.

1809: Robson trudges off. Ross McCormack takes his place. The former Rangers striker has had an excellent goal-happy season with Motherwell. Can he inject some much-needed zip into the Scotland attack?

1804: Sverkos is clean through, one-on-one, mano-a-mano with Gordon. He must score! He shoots, Gordon saves with an outstretched leg. The Sunderland keeper saves Scotland again.

1801: "David, you could stop spelling "Morrison" incorrectly..." dezzyb on 606
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Ooops, sorry about that! Well spotted teacher!

1759: Shaun Maloney and David Clarkson have come on for Scotland to replace Morrison and Gavin Rae respectively.

1756: "Kenny Miller squanders a golden oppurtunity...I bet Boydy would have finished it had he not been injured!" Van der Boydy on 606
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I fear you may be displaying some bias there Van der Boydy?! Anyway, according to some reports you could end up with Kenny Miller at Ibrox again next season. Methinks that won't go down too well in Govan...

1755: Kenny Miller squanders a golden opportunity to restore parity. He has a clear sight of Cech's goal but blooters it well wide when a delicate curling shot was required.

1753: "Despite his obvious goal-scoring threat and physical presence, the Czech side have benefited from Koller's departure. They aren't relying on hitting him all the time. There are more options now."
Scotland pundit Craig Paterson

I agree with Craig. Jarolim, Plasil and Sverkos have added new dimension to Karel Bruckner's side. They're smooth operators. That giant gallah Koller was hindering the Czech's chess-like passing and movement.

1752: More pressure from the Czechs. They're going for the kill. Gordon makes a superb save from Sverkos.

1749: Scotland have the chance to hit back immediately from a direct free-kick. Hartley's poor effort is easily caught by Cech.

1748: "You jinxed it..." GK1982 on 606
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I know. Cheers for pointing that out. You're a real pal...

1747: GOAL. Czech Republic 1-0 Scotland. Beautiful finish from Libor Sionko. Scotland's staunch resistance is broken at last. Great play from the Rangers flop who is apparently FC Copenhagen's 'Player of the Year.'

1746: The English-born Morrison only qualifies to play for Scotland through his grandparents. The old granny rule eh? Brilliant! With this kind of vibrant performance he'll be wearing hee-haw under his kilt by this time tomorrow. And George Burley will be taking note for his World Cup squads.

1744: Morrison is once again in the thick of the action for Scotland. Miller makes a trademark surging run down the right and threads the ball through to the onrushing West Brom man. He stabs a shot at Cech who turns it round for a corner. Scotland's best move of the match so far.

1743: "Scotland are getting numbers forward and its giving them more options."
BBC Scotland pundit Billy Dodds

1742: Scotland are holding the Czechs at bay with some ease at the moment. An impressively composed performance. Although, I don't want to jinx it by talking too soon...

1738: The Czech defence only manage to clear a high Scottish punt as far as James Morrison on the edge of their own box. The young midfielder steams into the ball with some abandon, showing terrific technique to take it on the half-volley, but unfortunately his shot balloons high over Cech's bar.

1735: Strong, resolute defending from Scotland again there. McManus, Caldwell and Naysmith are veritable gladiators when it comes to throwing their bodies at the ball. Scotland have been brilliant at that in recent times.

1734: Sub Jarolim makes an instant impact for the Czechs but despite getting two bites at the cherry he can't turn the ball into the Scotland net.

1733: Mr Braamhahahar blows his whistle and we're off again. Five changes for the Czechs. Scotland are unchanged.

1728: "Is this game on tv at all?" Moobabe on 606
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Indeed. Tune into BBC2 Scotland for live coverage of the second-half from the AXA Arena, Praha. Coming right atcha in a New York minute. Which is right now.

1727: "This game could be a good indicator of how Scotland will play in World Cup qualifiers - tight and cagey."
BBC Scotland pundit Jim Traynor

1716: "It is being played at a pace that's not too competitive."
BBC Scotland pundit Billy Dodds

You said it Billy. Although it's been reasonably entertaining for a so-called end-of-season affair. It's certainly more sparky than the usual "after you, Claude" friendly. No goals but some meaty challenges and a pathetic attempt at handbags from Koller. Behave yourself big man. That kind of guff is just embarrassing.

1715: Mr Braamhaar toots his whistle to bring the first-half to an end. No goals so far. The ref's name reminds me of Steve Martin's character in 'The Man With Two Brains' - Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr. I'd love to hear the match commentator try to get his tongue round that one!

1714: "David, Kenny has 11 of the 20." AZ_Johnny_Mac on 606
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Nice one statto!

1712: Morrison finds acres of space on the left and streaks past Pospech but his cross is poor and the Czechs clear easily. That was a waste.

1710: "To David on the BBC text...the current team on the park has 20 international goals among them...so a bit more than your thought on double figures." AZ_Johnny_Mac on 606
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Thanks for that Johnny. I was fishing for the stat, attempting to hide the fact I hadn't the foggiest notion and you were the first to bite. Much appreciated. Kenny Miller must have the lion's share of that total? Fishing again...

1709: Robson lines up a free kick from 30 yards out. He is unlikely to trouble Petr Cech from that range. And he doesn't. His powder-puff effort does well to reach the Chelsea keeper's waiting arms. Robson looks back forlornly at the huge divot he's hoofed up. And well he might. That was a hacker's golf shot.

1706: Jankulovski unleashes a fizzing drive from the edge of the box which Gordon parries brilliantly. Koller punces on the rebound but skews his shot wide when it looked like he couldn't miss. That was hitting a cow's bahookey with a banjo moment there. What a let-off for Scotland.

1706: "Koller and Caldwell are dancing the polka in the six-yard box."
BBC Scotland commentator Paul Mitchell

Big bully-boy Koller is grappling with Scotland defenders again. Pick on someone your own size...like Robert Wadlow or someone...

1704:Naysmith dawdles on the ball and Sionko nicks it from him and hares down the left. This time McManus steps in to save Naysmith's blushes.

1702: Robson whips in a brilliant cross but no-one can get their head on the end of it. Fletcher looked the most likely but was blinded by the dazzling sun. The ball flies over his craning head and out of danger.

1659: Certainly no hint of negative play from Scotland there as some slick one-touch passing springs Kenny Miller in the six-yard box, but the Derby striker's touch fails him and huffy-pants Ujfalusi clears.

1658: Fiorentina's Tomas Ujfalusi is still in a giant huff about being ousted in the semi-finals of the Uefa Cup by Rangers.

Here's what he said before tonight's game: "I don't know if Scotland play in the same style as Rangers. If they do, that means nine players staying in their half of the pitch."

He's not bitter.

1655: Robson shouts for a penalty after he is body-checked in the Czech box by Ujfalusi. The Celtic midfielder's cry is in vain. No penalty.

1654: Koller tussles with McManus in the box and there's some afters. The humungous Czech flaps at the Scotland skipper and then aims a kick at him. The unperturbed McManus obviously has Koller ruffled.

1653: "In work on a nice summers day with a Scotland game on. Doesn't get any worse than this..." MacWalka on 606
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It's a lovely, tranquil sun-drenched afternoon in Scotland today. If it's any consolation to you - I'm stuck in an office too...

1651: And Koller almost adds to his grand total. Sionko's deep cross from the right eludes the Scotland defence but big Jan directs his header over Craig Gordon's bar. A sigh of relief from the Tartan Army.

1649: Koller has 50 goals in 85 appearances for his country. That's quite a prolific record to say the least. I'm not sure the entire Scotland team combined would make double figures.

1647: "It is all about defending for Scotland because the Czech Republic are playing so high up the pitch."
BBC Scotland pundit Billy Dodds

Billy's comments don't bode well for Scotland.

1646: Scotland are gifting the Czechs possession too easily.

1645: The Czech Rebublic are zipping the ball about in midfield with some style. Scotland haven't seen much of the ball in the past few minutes.

1642: Scotland have made a confident start. They're certainly not scared to get forward in numbers, but the fear is that they will leave themselves vulnerable on the break.

There have been a few hairy moments already with the giant 6ft 7 striker Jan Koller causing havoc in the Scots' box. Stephen McManus has his hands full tonight containing the big Wicker Man.

1638: "Great to see Cardiff City boys McNaughton and Rae back in action for Scotland - richly deserved and well overdue." PickersCCFC on 606
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Is that a Welshman supporting Scotland? Isn't that nice.

1635: That was close! Brilliant defending from Naysmith.

1634: Then the Czechs break at lightning speed with former Hearts' star Rudi Skacel bursting down the left wing. His cross is aimed at ex-Rangers winger Libor Sionko but just as the reborn Copenhagen man shapes to shoot Gary Naysmith slides in with a crunching tackle to thwart him.

1632: Bright start from Scotland. West Brom's James Morrison looks lively down the left flank. These fringe guys will hope to impress Burley and force their way into his thoughts for September's trip to Macedonia. That's where Scotland play their opening World Cup qualifier. Then it's business time.

1630: Bang on cue the referee gets the game underway. The man in the middle tonight is Dutchman Eric Braamhaar.

1628: Scotland have seven substitutes. The Czechs have every one of their 23-man Euro 2008 squad on the bench. Except for the 11 on the field of play, of course...

1625: Both teams are on the pitch. It's a beautiful sunny evening in Prague. The fairly healthy travelling Tartan Army roar along with 'Flower of Scotland.' Now for the Czech anthem. It's a slow burner...in fact it's just slow. It was all set to build up into a rousing crescendo but petered away to nothing. Not a big fan of that national anthem. A bit dour.

1619: "I think James Morrison could be on the left with Darren Fletcher on the right. Hope Barry Robson takes any set pieces we get - he's good at them. BTW anyone else reckon Fletcher deserves the captaincy way ahead of Stephen Mcmanus? We all know in the end, Kevin Keegan takes it all... on 606
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McManus has just captained Celtic to the SPL title. But Fletcher got the double-whammy of a Premiership and Champions League winners' medal. McManus has more experience. I don't necessarily think he's a natural leader but he has more presence on the pitch than Fletcher. For me he pips the Manchester United man in Ferguson's absence...

1615: "The only players who will be missed are Alan Hutton, Steven Fletcher and Kris Boyd for some firepower from the bench. Scott Brown for a wide position also. The central midfield of Robson, Hartley and Fletcher is as strong as it can be really. Its definitely not a weakness. Barry Ferguson is dead on his feet. Michael-cfc on 606
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1612: What do you make of that then?

1610: TEAMS IN FULL

Czech Republic: Cech, Pospech, Ujfalusi, Kovac, Jankulovski, Sionko, Polak, Matejovsky, Galasek, Skacel, Koller. Subs: Blazek, Sivok, Grygera, Rozehnal, Kadlec, Plasil, Vlcek, Jarolim, Fenin, Sverkos, Baros, Zitka.

Scotland: Gordon, McNaughton, McManus, Caldwell, Naysmith, Robson, Hartley, Fletcher, Rae, Morrison, Miller. Subs: Marshall, Anderson, Berra, Dailly, McCormack, Maloney, Clarkson.

1604: Some recent form guide for you to ponder: Czech Republic have had mixed results in friendlies since finishing top of their group to qualify for Euro 2008. They suffered defeat to Greece and Poland in February, before earning a draw in Denmark the following month.

Bruckner's men were back on top form on Tuesday night with a 2-0 win over Lithuania.

1551: "Shame about the player's missing for the match, especially with such a good opposition. It's important for Scotland to push on & keep the same mentality from the Euro qualification where they did brilliantly!" HammersSpoon on 606
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1550: So, who will start for Scotland? Celtic's Barry Robson inspired his side to the SPL title? Will he get his second cap tonight? Robson could be partnered in the middle of the park by West Bromwich Albion's James Morrison.

Will Burley throw newcomers Christophe Berra, Ross McCormack or David Clarkson into the fray? And will Cardiiff City's Kevin McNaughton be offered the opportunity to reignite his international career after six years in the wilderness?

Text your chat to 80295 and leap headlong into the 606 mixer too.
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1549: Meanwhile, the 68-year-old Bruckner, who guided the Czechs to the semi-finals of Euro 2004, will have to contend with the absence of captain and midfield maestro Tomas Rosicky. The little Arsenal playmaker will not only play tonight has been ruled out of this summer's tournament after undergoing knee surgery.

Uefa Cup winner Radek Sirl, who starred in Zenit St Petersburg's victory in Manchester over Rangers, is also unavailable with a knee injury. In a further blow, Czech legend Pavel Nedved recently declined the opportunity to come out of international retirement.

However, the Czechs still boast key figures in the shape of Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, Reading's Marek Matejovsky and leading scorer and man-mountain Jan Koller.

1548: Burley has suffered from numerous withdrawals since taking over the reins and heads into the game with a very different side from the cruelly denied a Euro 2008 spot by Italy last year.

James McFadden, Alan Hutton, Steven Fletcher and Rangers trio Kevin Thomson, Steven Whittaker and Kris Boyd all pulled out of the trip to Prague, while a long-term ankle problem meant skipper Barry Ferguson was not named in the squad either.

On the plus side, Motherwell striker David Clarkson has earned a first Scotland call-up.

1547: And Burley's Czech counterpart, that wily old fox Karel Bruckner, who will retire after Euro 2008 said: "I believe Scotland will be strong opponents. They have very good players who played well in the qualifying campaign.

"They didn't qualify but, in my opinion, Scotland are one of the top teams in Europe."

Kind words Karel. Let's hope Scotland's depleted squad can live up to your pre-match flattery. He must mean it though. He can't be playing mind games. After all, it's only a friendly...oops, I'd better stop saying that...

1546: It's George Burley's first away game since he inherited the Scotland hot-seat from Alex McLeish in January and he's looking for his first victory. In his first game in charge back in March the Scots held Croatia to a highly creditable 1-1 draw.

Here's what George had to say earlier: "You talk about Scotland, well, Scotland for me are passionate and a team who want to do well whether it's a competitive game or a friendly.

"I think we showed that against Croatia and we just missed out on qualifying for the Euros. So we won't be taking our foot off the pedal tonight."

That's the spirit George! No such thing as a meaningless friendly. Just ask my old gran.

1545: There's no such thing as a meaningless friendly - at least that's what my old gran used to say. And yon Oscar Wildean wag Sven-Goran Eriksson once piped up sagely on the subject: "I always said the game against Argentina would not be a normal friendly but a real one." You're talking gibberish Sven, but on this rare occasion I'm going to agree with you. This is a real friendly.

Tonight's game has plenty of meaning for both sides. It's the Czech Republic's final warm-up game before they head to Austria & Switzerland for Euro 2008, while Scotland's preparations begin now for their 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign which gets underway in September.

Kick-off in the AXA Arena, Prague is 1630BST.

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see also
Czech Republic 3-1 Scotland
30 May 08 |  Internationals
Scotland photo gallery
30 May 08 |  Internationals


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