Euro 2024 – Scotland vs Switzerland: McTominay’s goal keeps Scotland’s knockout hopes alive

Scotland’s aspirations of reaching the knockout rounds of a major tournament for the first time in their history remain alive after a gritty 1-1 draw with Switzerland in Group A.

The Steve Clarke-led team was much better than the team that lost 5-1 to Germany, hosts of Euro 2024, on Friday. They took an immediate lead when Scott McTominay scored a goal after a deflection off Fabian Schar, setting up a quick counterattack.

The goal sent the Tartan Army into fits of delirium at the Cologne Stadium, but veteran Xherdan Shaqiri quickly leveled the score with a stunning first-time effort from the edge of the penalty area after pouncing on a wayward pass from Anthony Ralston.

The two teams continued to trade blows in the second half. Angus Gunn, who was fantastic in the first half when he denied Dan Ndoye a one-on-one chance, again denied the Swiss striker before Grant Hanley headed a great Scotland chance against the post from Andrew Robertson’s free-kick.

Scotland came within touching distance of winning all three points and their first major tournament win since beating the same opponent at the 1996 European Championship, but they also showed impressive defensive resilience and survived a late scare from substitute’s careless header Zeki Amdouni next.

Scotland are now one point clear of two games in Group A due to the draw, three points behind the second-placed Swiss, who are all but qualified along with Germany. But most importantly, Scotland could move into the top four third places if they beat Hungary in the final match on Sunday.

The only negative aspect of the match was the injury to defender Kieran Tierney, who went down with his hamstring and had to be stretched in the second half. Clarke said after the match that Tierney will undoubtedly miss the game against Hungary.

Goalkeeper of Scotland Angus Gunn said: “Everything in the match was ten times better from the start than last night.

“The boys managed to hold on for ninety minutes. Some of them were flagging towards the end, but it was much more like us.

“We wanted to bring that (the intensity) back into the game today. We did that and you can see the lift it gave the players and fans. That was the boost we needed at the start of the game.

“Personally, I was hurting after Friday night’s game because I felt I didn’t do myself justice. I think a lot of guys felt that way too. That was the motivation to come out and show what we stand for.

“We wanted to go into the last game with something to play for. We go into the last game knowing what we have to do and hopefully we can get a big result.”

Captain Andrew Robertson said: “A lot more like us, aggressive on the front foot and got off to a much better start.

“We made a mistake, but Tony Ralston was unbelievable after that mistake. Not many people could come back from that, but in the second half he was in a different class.

“We have our chances, but it was an open game. That sounded a lot more like us and we’re a lot happier with that performance. We take the draw and there is everything to play for in the final game. That’s all we can ask for.”

The teams finishing third in their respective groups will be ranked in order of the following criteria, starting with:

1) Points
2) Goal difference
3) Goals scored
4) Wins
5) Lower total disciplinary points
6) Overall European Qualifications Ranking
7) If host country Germany is involved in the comparison, lots will be drawn

The tournament then moves to a straight knockout format, with single-leg draws – including extra time and penalties if necessary – until two sides reach the final on July 14 in Berlin.

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