The Liverpool left back led out his national side for their first international tournament since the World Cup in 1998, as Scotland had a tough – but very winnable – opening fixture against the Czech Republic at Hampden Park.
It was a venue with many memories, as the former Queen of the South defender – who had spent days at the ground either playing or by working – guided his team through there first 90 minutes of tournament football for 23 years.
Despite his solid performance going forward, Scotland were defeated by the magic of Patrick Schick, as the visitors walked away with the three points, as well as a goal of the tournament contender.
The Liverpool left back started the game at left wing back – his usual role for Steve Clarke’s side – and in the first half he put in quite the shift. He was a constant danger down the left, whipping in fantastic crosses into feet and even getting the opportunity to test the Czech goalkeeper with an effort of his own.
After a loose ball by the Czech defence, Celtic forward Ryan Christie latched on to it and played it to Robertson who arrived late and produced the best Scotland chance of the first half – a strike that was tipped over.
Defensively he was also brilliant, pulling off several key tackles, whilst his recovery runs also nullified certain trouble that approached the Scottish backline. Despite his great play, the home nation would fall behind just prior to half time.
After a corner in the 42nd minute for the Czech Republic, the ball fell loose to Vladmir Coufal. With Robertson still in the box and man marking a player in white, Coufal was able to use the space to effect. The West Ham defender would find Patrick Schick in the box, and with a brilliant leap to get above everyone, he planted his header beyond the despairing dive of David Marshall in the Scotland goal.
Robertson was the danger man for Scotland and they needed to get him on the ball. His threat was clear and his interplay with Stuart Armstrong was a major positive in the first period despite his side being behind. Knowing this, Scotland adapted and forced the tempo down the left side and they nearly were rewarded.
In the 48th minute he whipped in a ball to the back post. His sumptuous cross would eventually find Jack Hendry, who cannoned his effort off the bar. Sighs followed by roars from the Hampden crowd as they could sense a change in momentum.
A minute later, Robertson played a great ball over the top to striker Dykes but the QPR was unable to bring it under control at the pinnacle moment, leaving the Liverpool left back frustrated by another one of his moves going to waste. Unfortunately, all his efforts would be for nothing minutes later.
After committing men forward, Patrick Schick picked up the ball in the 53rd minute – and after seen Marshall well off his line – thumped home a 50-yard effort over the top of Marshall to kill the game as a contest.Embed from Getty Images
Scotland had several chances to grasp a consolation goal in the second half but just could not get past Tomáš Vaclík in the Czech Republic net.
The score finished 2-0 to the Czech Republic, not the result that Andrew Robertson would have wanted but he should be proud of his individual performance, especially in the first half.
Robertson and Scotland will now turn their attention to Friday evening were he may come to blows with Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson as Scotland face England at Wembley stadium.
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