Germany through to last 16, Scotland and Croatia draw

Hosts Germany on Wednesday became the first team to qualify for the knockout stages of Euro 2024 thanks to a 2-0 win over Hungary, while Scotland drew with Switzerland and Croatia’s hopes of progress remained in jeopardy after Albania defeated had taken over land.

Germany followed up their 5–1 defeat to Scotland in the opening match of the tournament by beating the Hungarians in Stuttgart, with Jamal Musiala and Ilkay Gundogan scoring either side of half-time.

Julian Nagelsmann’s side have a maximum of six points with one match remaining in Group A, and will certainly progress to the last 16 as second in the section.

Hungary resisted but the hosts had too much quality in the final third, with Bayern Munich star Musiala firing in the opener midway through the first half after captain Gundogan refused to concede a lost cause in the penalty area.

Germany then doubled their lead in the 67th minute when Barcelona’s Gundogan collected an assist from Maximilian Mittelstaedt.

Their recent troubles appear to be a thing of the past and Germany have now won their first two matches at a World Cup or European Championship for the first time since Euro 2012.

Hungary’s hopes of progress now hang by a thread as group rivals Switzerland and Scotland played out a 1-1 stalemate in Wednesday’s late match in Cologne.

Scotland, backed by a large and vocal support, took an early lead when Callum McGregor knocked the ball back for Scott McTominay to score with a shot that went in from a big touch off Fabian Schaer.

However, Switzerland equalized when Xherdan Shaqiri pounced on Anthony Ralston’s stray pass and smashed a brilliant first goal high into the net.

The Swiss saw Dan Ndoye miss a glorious second-half chance and Breel Embolo’s goal was disallowed for offside, but Scotland deserved the draw, keeping their hopes alive.

They might even have won the match, with Grant Hanley hitting the post from a late header.

Switzerland, quarter-finalists at Euro 2020, may already have enough points to progress, but a draw against Germany on Sunday will ensure second place.

Scotland, who have not won a match at a major tournament since beating the Swiss 1-0 at Euro 96, can still qualify with a win over Hungary in Stuttgart.

Elsewhere, Albania’s Klaus Gjasula scored at both ends, including a dramatic equalizer in stoppage time as his side drew 2-2 with Croatia in Hamburg.

2022 World Cup semi-finalists Croatia will now likely have to win their final Group B match against compatriots Italy on June 24 to reach the knockout stages for a fifth straight major tournament. (AFP)

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