Scotland’s Scott Brown goes over the knee of the Czech Republic’s Jaroslav Plasil during their Group 1 qualifying game for Euro 2012. A late penalty by the Scotts gave the visitors a key draw. (Scott Heppell/Associated Press)
Michal Kadlec’s 90th-minute penalty kick for the Czech Republic salvaged a 2-2 draw against Scotland on Saturday at Glasgow and strengthened his team’s grip on second place in Group I of European Championship qualifying.
Scotland had led twice, with Kenny Miller scoring just before halftime and setting up Darren Fletcher’s 83rd-minute strike after Jaroslav Plasil had equalized for the visitors.
But Kadlec blasted the spot kick into the net after Jan Rezek went down lightly under Danny Wilson’s challenge at Hampden Park.
“It was difficult to see from where I was standing,” Czech Republic manager Michal Bilek said of the penalty decision.
There was still time for the Scots to have a penalty appeal of their own turned down when Christophe Berra was instead booked for diving.
“The referee was conned for the first penalty and Christophe was clipped for our one,” Scotland manager Craig Levein said. “It’s cost us today. It’s easy to blame the referee but when you get two decisions like that you feel aggrieved.
“I feel really upset for the supporters. We played some really good stuff but ultimately we didn’t win the match.”
The referee was Kevin Blom of the Netherlands.
“I don’t know how the process works in UEFA, whether somebody will look at his performance today and he will miss out on future international matches because of those two decisions,” Levein said.
The point puts the Czech Republic on course to finish second in Group I and secure a Euro 2012 playoff spot.
“I felt we played the better football,” Bilek said. “We still have two matches to play so we have to concentrate.”
While the Czechs are the five points behind leader Spain having played an extra game, they are five points ahead of third-place Scotland.
“The group isn’t finished yet, we still have an opportunity to qualify,” Levein said.