Sweden hold Spain as Schick stunner downs Scots

Afp, Glasgow

16 June, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Sweden hold Spain as Schick stunner downs Scots

Czech Republic’s forward Patrik Schick (left) celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the UEFA EURO 2020 Group D football match against Scotland at Hampden Park in Glasgow on Monday. – AFP photo

Spain opened their Euro 2020 campaign with a goalless draw against Sweden in Seville on Monday after their preparations were badly affected by Covid-19, while Patrik Schick scored one of the championship's great goals in the Czech Republic's 2-0 win over Scotland.

Elsewhere on day four of the tournament, Slovakia edged out 10-man Poland 2-1 in Saint Petersburg.

They lead the early Group E table ahead of Spain and Sweden, after the Scandinavians held on for a point at La Cartuja, with Alvaro Morata wasting the hosts' best opportunity.

"There are no doubts about a striker like Morata," Aymeric Laporte said of his teammate. "We know what he can do, it didn't go in for him today it's true, but in the next game he can score three and shut everyone's mouth."

Jordi Alba captained Spain in the absence of Sergio Busquets, who is still self-isolating at home after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Spain, bidding for a record fourth European Championship title, started strongly against Sweden, dominating possession.

Spain laid siege to the visitors' net late on, but a series of blocks and an excellent save by Robin Olsen to deny Gerard Moreno preserved Sweden's point.

The Scots, absent from major tournament finals since the 1998 World Cup, were sunk by Bayer Leverkusen striker Schick in front of 12,000 fans at Hampden Park.

The home side started the Group D contest brightly in Glasgow but fell behind shortly before half-time as Schick headed home Vladimir Coufal's cross.

There was even better to come from the 25-year-old Schick, as he struck a high, curling shot from just inside the Scotland half over the head of back-pedalling Scottish goalkeeper David Marshall and into the net.

"The ball bounced back, the goalkeeper was quite high, I took a look, I saw he was out there so I slammed it in," said Schick.

The Scots will next face old rivals England, who made a successful start to their campaign with a 1-0 win over Croatia on Sunday, at Wembley on Friday.

Poland will rue Grzegorz Krychowiak's 62nd-minute second yellow card in Russia as the midfielder became the first player to be sent off in this year's tournament.

Slovakia had taken an 18th-minute lead when Robert Mak's shot hit the post and bounced in off Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny before Karol Linetty levelled shortly after the break.

The game was settled with 21 minutes to play, though, as Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar drilled in to give Slovakia a winning start.


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