Scotland show heart and courage but Euro 2024 dream hangs by a thread after Switzerland draw

Scotland Euro 2024 Switzerland

Scotland's hopes of reaching the knockout stages of Euro 2024 are fading following their draw with Switzerland

REUTERS
Jack Otway

By Jack Otway


Published: 19/06/2024

- 21:52

Updated: 19/06/2024

- 22:26

The Tartan Army have work to do if they're to make it out of the group stages

Prior to Scotland's clash with Switzerland on Wednesday night, Steve Clarke called for his side to show fight.

The 60-year-old was disappointed by the way they folded against Germany on matchday one, with the hosts putting in a sublime performance as they won 5-1.


Switzerland were, with all due respect, never going to pose as big a threat.

They don't have Jamal Musiala, Toni Kroos, Ilkay Gundogan or Niclas Fullkrug. Clarke sensed they were beatable and Scotland, throughout the match, clearly felt they were as well.

Scotland Switzerland

Scotland's hopes of reaching the knockout stages of Euro 2024 are fading following their draw with Switzerland

REUTERS

Yet Scotland, for all the fight they showed during the contest at the Cologne Stadium, could be packing their bags as early as Sunday night.

They were significantly improved on their showing against Germany and took a deserved lead through Scott McTominay in the 13th minute.

The Manchester United star remains a divisive figure at club level. There were whispers he'd be sold, having only been a squad player under Erik ten Hag during the Dutchman's maiden season at the helm.

When it comes to Scotland, however, McTominay is their Superman.

Without his goals in qualifying - all seven of them - then his team-mates, as well as his compatriots all over the world, would have been watching this tournament from home.

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It always felt inevitable that McTominay would pop up with another heroic moment for Scotland.

And though his goal carried an element of luck, the timing of his run did not.

McTominay has made a habit of scoring from around the edge of the box in recent years and he did it again on Wednesday, with the 27-year-old's effort hitting Fabian Schar on the way in.

The volume around the Cologne Stadium suddenly rose, with Scotland fans daring to dream.

Ultimately, however, they shot themselves in the foot - with Anthony Ralston making a costly error just 13 minutes later.

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Scotland, at the time, were managing to keep the Swiss at bay.

Yet when Ralston gave the ball away to former Liverpool and Stoke star Xherdan Shaqiri, he was immediately made to regret it.

Shaqiri isn't the same player he was during his time in the Premier League, while he also previously had stints at European giants Inter Milan and Bayern Munich.

When it comes to playing for his country, however, the 32-year-old remains undroppable.

And Shaqiri took his goal superbly, rifling an unstoppable shot past Angus Gunn that gave the Norwich City goalkeeper no chance.

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Scotland Switzerland

Scott McTominay scored for Scotland in the 13th minute of their Euro 2024 clash with Switzerland

REUTERS

As the game went on, the nerves only increased.

Bologna winger Dan Nodye, who has been linked with a move to Inter himself, saw a goal chalked off for offside.

In the second half, the 23-year-old looked destined to score when he had just Gunn to beat.

But the Norwich star bravely stuck out a big left arm to keep the forward at bay and the scoreline level.

Scotland also had chances of their own.

Scotland Switzerland

Scotland were pegged back by Xherdan Shaqiri during their Euro 2024 draw with Switzerland

REUTERS

Grant Hanley saw his header crash off the post, with the 32-year-old within inches of restoring his side's lead.

And McTominay's crashing effort was blocked when it seemed like it would soar in.

Scotland will need to beat Hungary and hope other results, not just in their group but the wider tournament, go their way.

Their dream remains alive - but certainly hangs in the balance.

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