Leeds United captain Liam Cooper solid but Scotland fall to Euro 2020 defeat thanks to Patrick Shick wondergoal

Liam Cooper tasted defeat in Scotland's Euro 2020 opener against the Czech Republic at Hampden Park.

Monday, 14th June 2021, 3:59 pm
Updated Monday, 14th June 2021, 4:00 pm
STEADY START - Leeds United's Liam Cooper was heavily involved, particularly in the first half, for Scotland in their Euro 2020 defeat to the Czech Republic. Pic: Getty

The absence of Arsenal's Kieran Tierney presented an opportunity for the Whites centre-half to add to his six international caps.

Cooper made a solid start to his major tournament debut, playing on the left-hand side of Scotland s back three. His early chipped ball over the top threatened to release Lyndon Dykes and midway through the half the Whites defender tried again, going even longer to put Dykes in behind, only for the ball to skip away from the QPR forward.

Defensively he was heavily involved, winning headers, making tackles and blocks and the hosts looked relatively comfortable for the majority of the half, before conceding the opener.

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Having cleared a corner, Scotland were undone by the second ball in, Patrick Shick beating Grant Hanley to the header, despite Cooper spotting the danger and attempting to attack Vladimír Coufal's cross.

Shick hit the net again just after the break, scoring from just inside the Scotland half with an outrageous effort that left the scrambling David Marshall crashing into his goal in vain.

Despite creating several good chances, including a shot from Jack Hendry that hit the bar and Dykes' instinctive effort that was well saved by an in-form Tomáš Vaclík, the Scots were thwarted in their attacking endeavours and succumbed to a 2-0 defeat in their opening group game.

Steve Clarke's men take on England next in Group D. The Wembley clash could pit Cooper against his Elland Road team-mate Kalvin Phillips, who shone in the Three Lions victory over Croatia on Sunday.