Substitute Lukáš Stratil's second-half effort earned Czech Republic a draw with Scotland and the point they needed to secure a place at the UEFA European Under-17 Championship finals.
Trailing to John Herron's 13th-minute opener, Josef Csaplár's team − leaders of elite round Group 1 at kick-off − were in danger of missing out on the final tournament to their opponents. However, Stratil's intervention 18 minutes from time means it is the Czech Republic who will join hosts Serbia and the winners of the six other elite round groups being played later this month in the final draw on Tuesday 5 April at Belgrade City Hall. The competition itself is scheduled to run from 3 to 15 May.
The speedy Dan Fojtášek was given a start by Czech coach Josef Csaplár and his early shot was creare off the line by Jack Grimmer. But Scotland were on the offensive and on 13 minutes took the lead when Islam Feruz found Matthew Kennedy, who dribbled round goalkeeper Lukáš Zima and crossed for Herron to head into an empty net. It would have been two by the beak but Feruz's attempt to lob Zima from distance dropped just wide.
Petr Nerad and Stratil arrived as Csaplár pusher for the equaliser his team needed and Dominik Mašek and Aleš Čermák came close as Scotland defended in depth. On the hour Grimmer did well to head away a Mašek cross with Mašek lurking but although the resulting corner was cleared, Stratil sent in a tremendous, accurate shot to level. Liam Polworth so nearly provided a dramatic conclusion as the game entered added time but just missed the target.
Csaplár said: "We made a lot of mistakes in open play and we immediately conceded a goal. All first half long we played without composure, having fallen behind. In the second half we were able to play our quality football and we deserved the equaliser."
Scotland manager Ross Mathie, whose team departed unbeaten, said: "I'm pleased with my team's performance, unfortunately we had the result in our hands and we let it slip."
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