There are some goals that require a second or third look for me to truly appreciate the full extent of their excellence, and there are some goals that just make me yell unintelligibly at 10 in the morning. Patrik Schick’s second goal against Scotland in the Czech Republic’s first Euros group stage match is decidedly the second kind:
You could argue that Scotland goalkeeper David Marshall was too far up, even for a modern sweeper keeper, and that his side was similarly too high up the field while only trailing 1–0 in the 52nd minute. Any argument that tries to minimize how difficult it is to hit a first-touch rocket 50 yards out is missing the point, though. Schick had to look up, make the decision to shoot, and then put the ball on target with a no-run up curved lob while moving away from the center of the park. Simply an outrageous bit of skill and quick thinking.
Schick’s absolute firecracker—a tip of the cap to Ian Darke—was his second goal of the day, and his first was more of the “need a couple of looks” variety: in the 42nd minute, Schick rose for a glancing header that was decently defended by the Scots but found the back of Marshall’s net regardless:
The 25-year-old Bayer Leverkusen striker was always going to be the Czech Republic’s key man in this tournament, though analysts had concerns about the team’s ability to serve him the ball in scoring positions. On evidence of his second goal, though, all his teammates have to do is give him the ball at midfield and get out of the way.