Scotland qualify for Euro 2020 after 22 years
Scotland have secured a place at the UEFA Euro 2020. This will be their first major qualification in a major tournament after 22 years. They sealed a berth after clinching a penalty shoot-out win over Serbia. Hungary and Slovakia too sealed qualification. The tournament which was set to take place in 2020, was postponed by a year due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Ryan Christie put Scotland ahead by scoring the all-important opener in the 52nd minute. However, Serbian substitute Luka Jovic equalised toward the end, when he headed a corner from Filip Mladenovic to force extra time. In the shoot-out, Scotland converted all their penalties and eventually won 5-4. For Scotland, goal-keeper David Marshall's effort to save the final goal stood out.
Speaking on the historic victory, Scotland boss Steve Clarke said, "We know what we have achieved. Unbelievable, the character the players have shown. It would have been easy to crumble after conceding in the last minute of regular time from set play, but we dug in." "We've been building towards this moment and tonight the players and the nation can be proud of themselves."
The Scotland men's team have qualified for their first major international tournament since reaching the 1998 World Cup in France. In that tournament, they were knocked out of the group stage, having lost two games and drawn one.
Scotland will join the Group D of the 24-nation tournament that comprises England, the Czech Republic and 2018 World Cup runners-up Croatia. Notably, the matches in that pool will be played at Wembley and Hampden Park.
The campaign will kick-off on June 14 when Scotland host Czech Republic at the Hampden Park. After that, Wembley will host the second high-octane encounter between Croatia and England on June 18. The Scots then return to Hampden on June 22 to play Croatia, where they will vie for a place in the knockout stages of a major tournament for the very first time.
England-Scotland is the oldest international fixture in football. In November 1872, a goalless draw was first played at Hamilton Crescent, Partick in front of 4,000 spectators. Overall, the two nations have met on 113 occasions, with England winning 48 times and Scotland claiming 41 wins. Meanwhile, England have dominated in recent times, having won seven of the last nine meetings.
The #EURO2020 groups are set! 🤩— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) November 12, 2020
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