Scotland's Euro 2012 qualifying hopes are all but over after a controversial last-minute penalty gave Czech Republic a 2-2 draw in their Group I qualifier at Hampden.
Kenny Miller put the home side ahead a minute from the break from a pass by skipper Darren Fletcher but that was levelled in the 78th minute by midfielder Jaroslav Plasil.
Fletcher restored Scotland's lead three minutes later but, in the 89th minute, substitute Danny Wilson conceded a penalty with a tackle on Jan Rezek and Michal Kadlec equalised from the spot to keep the visitors five points ahead of the Scots in second place.
Replays suggested Rezek had dived to win the kick, but referee Kevin Blom was not interested and, to make matters worse, Scotland were denied a late penalty of their own when Christophe Berra was booked for diving.
In the fifth minute Czech Republic broke and striker Milan Baros worked a one-two with Petr Jiracek only to balloon the return ball over the bar from 12 yards. Then, with Hampden fervour dampened, Czech defender Jan Rajnoch headed a free-kick from captain Tomas Rosicky past the post from eight yards.
The visitors looked comfortable as they bossed possession as Scotland struggled to get at their defence and midfielder Scott Brown picked up a booking for a foul on Rosicky which meant he would miss the game against Lithuania.
The Czechs looked more likely to open the scoring as the game became stretched and increasingly frantic, but it all turned in the 44th minute when Miller took a pass from Fletcher inside the box and Jan Lastuvka could only help the Cardiff striker's drive into the net.
Miller was then booked for a foul on Czech defender Tomas Hubschman which ruled him out of the visit of the Lithuanians and as some of the energy seemed to sap out of the Scottish legs, Czech Republic came back in to the game. In the 78th minute it was all square when midfielder Plasil forced in a cross from substitute Rezek, who had replaced Milan Petrzela.
However, in the 81st minute Scotland regained the lead when Miller skipped away from Rajnoch down the left and set up Fletcher who slipped the ball past Lastuvka from close range.
But, in the 89th minute, Wilson, on for Phil Bardsley, was adjudged to have fouled Rezek in the box and Kadlec slammed in the spot-kick. Scotland were then denied a penalty claim of their own and Berra was booked for diving.
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.News Now - Sport News