Scotland have been something of a dark horse throughout this European Championships qualification process. Steve Clarke’s men opened their campaign with a resounding three-nil win against Cyprus – but not even the most optimistic Scotsman would have predicted what would follow suit.
Welcoming la Roja to Hampden Park, it was Scott McTominay that stole the show. The Manchester United midfielder netted a thunderous brace, forcing Spain to return to the Iberian Peninsula with nothing to show for after their late-March trip to Glasgow.
Yet while that may seem unfathomable, the results simply kept coming for Steve Clarke’s Scotland – as hopes of qualification for EURO2024 began to gain credibility. An away win against Erling Haaland’s Norway served as further motivation, and when they returned to Hampden, Scott McTominay was on the scoresheet once more in a 2-0 win over Georgia.Embed from Getty Images
And when the Tartan Army headed to Cyprus, they flew home with another three points – having put three goals past Cypriot opposition to all but confirm their participation in next summer’s major tournament.
But alas, Thursday’s controversial defeat to Spain left that uncertain – with Norway still able to clinch Scotland’s desired berth if they could defeat la Roja in Oslo on Sunday. With every Scotsman desperately rummaging through their family history in a bid to find Spanish lineage, Scotland in its entirety was behind the Iberian side.
It wouldn’t be comfortable though. Spaniards thought that they had taken the lead just four minutes into the second half at the Ullevaal Stadium, but a lengthy VAR check would ensue before Gavi could be rightfully awarded his goal.
Scotland are now the fifth team to qualify for EURO2024 – joining Belgium, France and Portugal, who all sealed their participation on Friday. Germany have automatically qualified as hosts of the tournament. England can book their flights if they defeat Italy at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday.