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Scotland hold off Czech Republic to stretch unbeaten run

Scotland took a commanding grip on Nations League Group B2 after Ryan Fraser’s early goal earned a hard-fought 1-0 win over the Czech Republic at Hampden Park.

Steve Clarke’s men are now unbeaten in eight games in all competitions and will go into next month’s Euro 2020 playoff final against Serbia full of confidence.

Victory in Belgrade on November 12 will see Scotland qualify for a first major tournament in 22 years, but they are also now well-positioned for a second shot at the 2022 World Cup should they fail to qualify automatically.

The two best Nations League group winners not to qualify automatically will go into the World Cup playoffs and Scotland are now four points clear of the Czechs with two games to go.

The home side had to ride their luck after smart play by Lyndon Dykes teed up Fraser to slot home the only goal on six minutes.

Thereafter, the Czechs were dominant, but were denied by a combination of dogged defending and wayward finishing.

Matej Vydra was guilty of missing a host of chances, the best of which the Burnley striker blasted wide at the back post midway through the first half.

Tomas Soucek somehow spooned over from inside the six-yard box six minutes from time, but Scotland clung on and could even have added a second when Oli McBurnie smashed a shot off the crossbar from outside the box.

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