Scotland’s Best Results of the Last Five Years

Scotland’s Best Results of the Last Five Years…

So, UEFA Euro 2024 is here and if you’re Scottish, it couldn’t have gotten off to a more embarrassing start. The Scots raised the curtain against hosts Germany at the Allianz Arena in Munich, and they were duly thumped by five goals to one, with Florian Wirtz, Jamal Musiala, Kai Havertz, Niclas Füllkrug, and Emre Can all on target. The result was Germany’s biggest-ever win at the European Championships, the biggest margin of victory in an opening game ever, and Scotland’s worst defeat in a major tournament since 1954!

Two of Celtic’s Scottish stars started the contest in the form of fullback Anthony Ralston and midfielder Callum McGregor, but both of them had a torrid time as Die Mannschaft carved through the Scottish defence almost at will. Steve Clarke had to go back to the drawing board to secure the four points required for progression in their next two games against Switzerland and Hungary.

And the good news is that the point plan is very much alive and well after match day two yesterday where Germany defeated Hungary and Scotland and Switzerland picked up a point apiece with a  1-1 draw.

Both Switzerland and Hungary  are ranked higher than Scotland in the FIFA world rankings, but the Scots have continually punched above their weight, especially recently, and a win against pointless Hungary on Sunday will see Scotland make history by achieving qualification at a major tournament for the first time ever.

So ahead of the match against Hungary which if the Scots are successful will rank as one of the greatest ever results, here’s a reminder of some of the magical matches that the Tartan Army has enjoyed in recent years  as Scotland were able to find results when they need them the most

Here are three of the best Scotland performances in recent years which they can draw inspiration from…

Scotland 2-0 Spain

Arguably one of the most memorable nights in recent history was when Scotland welcomed three-time European Champions Spain to Hampden Park in March of last year. At Euro 2024, the latest soccer odds make the Spaniards +850 contenders, and they were expected to breeze through qualifying as well. The visitors came into the game as heavy favourites, boasting a squad brimming with talent, particularly in the form of Barcelona duo Pedrii and Gavii. However, on this night, they were simply over-roared as the hosts walked out 2-0 victors.

From the very start, The Tartan Army showed no signs of intimidation. Led by Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn, who pressed ferociously from the outset, La Roja struggled to break down the hosts’ well-organized defence and found themselves frustrated by the relentless pressing and physicality of their opponents. Manchester United man Scott McTominay was the hero of the hour, netting twice to secure a famous victory for his side and help them on their way to qualification for Euro 2024.

Norway 1-2 Scotland

Just a few months later, Scotland travelled to Oslo to face Norway in another crucial qualifier, looking to build on their victory against the Spanish. With the hosts spearheaded by Manchester City scoring sensation Erling Haaland and supported by Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard, they were the clear favourites to get the three points. Those predictions looked to be accurate when their scoring ace duly gave the hosts the lead on the hour mark.

However, with manager Ståle Solbakken clearly feeling that the job was done, he substituted Haaland to keep him fresh. That invited the visitors to push for an equalizer, but they ended up walking away from the Ullevaal Stadion with more than they could have ever imagined. Lyndon Dykes managed to nod home an equalizer in the 88th minute, but the Scots weren’t finished there.

With the clock ticking down, Scotland’s perseverance paid off when a slick passing move ended with Kenny McLean curling a sublime shot into the top corner, leaving the Norwegian keeper with no chance and sending the travelling supporters into delirium. The result was crucial in helping Scotland qualify for the ongoing tournament in Germany, and they will need to channel this performance in their next two clashes to ensure that they aren’t sent packing early.

Scotland 2-0 Denmark

Scotland ultimately didn’t qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, losing a crucial qualifying playoff to Ukraine at Hampden by three goals to one. However, on this November 2021 night, it looked as though they would be on the plane to Qatar 12 months later. Denmark had just reached the semifinals of UEFA Euro 2020 and they were quickly developing into one of the continent’s finest. However, they came unstuck in Glasgow, thanks to Steve Clarke’s men performing out of their skin.

The Danes soundly beat their opponents by two goals to nil in Copenhagen just two months prior. However, in the return fixture, the Tartan Army duly returned the favour. They knew that a point was all they needed to secure a home tie in the playoff semifinals, but they ended up walking away with much more than that: Defender John Souttar nodded home in the first half to give the hosts a deserved 1-0 lead.

The visitors pressed for an equalizer throughout the second stanza, but that left them open to the counterattack. And in the 86th minute, that came to fruition as Che Adams broke away and sealed all three points in the 86th minute. Unfortunately, that was as good as it would get, as the Scots were resoundingly defeated by Ukraine in the playoffs, but that takes nothing away from this wonderful 1-0 victory.

Best of luck to Callum McGregor, Anthony Ralston and the rest of the Scotland squad for the massive game on Sunday against Hungary where Scotland can make history with a victory.

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