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Scotland 1 – 1 Switzerland

Scotland’s hopes of reaching the knockout stages of a major tournament for the first time in their history are still alive after a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Switzerland in Group A.

Steve Clarke’s side were much improved from Friday’s 5-1 defeat to hosts Germany at Euro 2024 and took an early lead when Scott McTominay canceled out Callum McGregor’s cutback with a deflection off Fabian Schar after a quick counter-attack.

The goal sparked frenzied celebrations from the Tartan Army at the Cologne Stadium, but Switzerland soon leveled through veteran Anthony Ralston had pounced.

The two sides continued to exchange blows in the second half, with Angus Gunn, excellent when he saved from Dan Ndoye in the first period, once again denying the Swiss striker a one-on-one chance before Grant Hanley headed a huge chance for Scotland against the post from Andrew Robertson’s free-kick.

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Kris Boyd celebrates Scotland’s opener against Switzerland

That was the closest Scotland came to taking all three points, and what would have been their first win at a major tournament since beating the same opponent at the 1996 European Championship, but at the other end they showed impressive defensive resilience and survived they had a late scare when they were replaced. Zeki Amdouni headed wastefully wide.

Grant Hanley hit the post as Scotland pushed for a winner in the second half
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Grant Hanley hit the post as Scotland pushed for a winner in the second half

The draw leaves Scotland on one point from two games in Group A, three behind the second-placed Swiss, who, like Germany, are all but qualified. Crucially, though, a win over Hungary in their final match on Sunday would give Scotland a chance to progress as one of the top four third-placed players.

The only blemish on the evening was an injury to defender Kieran Tierney, who had to be stretchered off the pitch in the second half after going to the ground with his hamstring, with Clarke confirming afterwards that he will definitely miss the clash with Hungary.

Clarke regrets Tierney’s blow

Scotland boss Steve Clarke said: “It looks pretty bad. We have to judge it, but Kieran won’t make it to the next game.

“You have to feel for Kieran. He has great form and is a top player for us. It’s a shame but someone else has to step up.”

Star performer: McTominay crucial

Scott McTominay’s goal – his eighth in his last 14 games for the national team – was his highlight, but this was an excellent all-round performance from the Manchester United midfielder.

Scott McTominay was active all over the field, including in both boxes
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Scott McTominay was active all over the field, including in both boxes

He pushed the team forward in possession, as he so often does, scoring twice as many shots (four) as any of his teammates and leading the field for touches in the opponent’s penalty area (eight).

But he was also important off the ball, relishing the assignment of shadowing Granit Xhaka to limit his influence and carry out the task diligently.

Gunn: We were ten times better

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

“The boys managed to keep it going for 90 minutes. Some of them were flagging towards the end, but it was a lot more like us.

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

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

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Kris Boyd says Scotland ‘made the nation proud’ when they worked with Switzerland

“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 looked a lot more like us and we are much happier with that performance. We take the draw and there is everything to play for in the last game. That’s all we can to ask.”

Boyd: They made the nation proud

Sky Sports’ Kris Boyd said: “There were questions and criticism after Friday night’s performance, and rightly so.

“Tonight they responded and it was more like Scotland, right in their faces.

“Switzerland are not top players at this level, but they have more than matched them and come away with a draw.

“Yes, they were lucky at times, but I think Steve Clarke will be relatively happy with that result.”

How does ranking third place teams work?

The best two teams from each of the six groups advance to the round of 16.

These twelve teams are joined by four of the six third-place finishers in the groups. The teams finishing third will be placed in a ranking, with the top four teams progressing to the last 16.

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.

Statistics: Story of the match

So far in Group A…

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