Cyprus 0-3 Scotland: Steve Clarke's side on brink of Euro 2024

Scotland are on the brink of qualifying for Euro 2024 after confidently sweeping aside Cyprus in Larnaca to maintain their 100% start in Group A.

Goals in the opening half hour from Scott McTominay, Ryan Porteous and John McGinn set up a straightforward night for Steve Clarke's side, who earned a fifth straight win in the section.

The victory means a spot at next summer's finals in Germany will be secure if Norway and Georgia draw on Tuesday, while Scotland are facing England in a friendly at Hampden (19:45 BST).

But regardless of what happens in Oslo, Clarke's men just need two points from their final three matches to guarantee an appearance at back-to-back European Championships.

Scotland put in a performance which justified the pre-match confidence of fans and pundits, and underlined their strong form having won their last 10 group qualifying matches in a row.

After just six minutes, McTominay nodded in the opener when McGinn flicked Andy Robertson's cross into his path, and 10 minutes later Porteous stabbed in his first Scotland goal after a deep free kick.

McGinn then effectively sealed a huge victory as he finished a flowing move involving Billy Gilmour, Che Adams and McTominay by curling the ball home from the edge of the box.

The serenity of it all must have felt surreal to the more than 4,000 Scotland fans who packed out the AEK Arena, and many will now be booking flights to Germany for next summer.

Player of the match - Scott McTominay

Slick Scots continue progress - analysis

There is always a narrative around Scotland about messing up qualification campaigns. Glorious failure is in the DNA, some cry.

It is understandable given previous failures this century, but it ignores the evidence this team has produced regularly. It is now 11 straight group qualifying wins, with only one goal conceded and 12 scored in this campaign.

Clarke has built a miserly team which has added layers to its game. McTominay, having only played seven minutes for Manchester United this season, grows as a player in a Scotland shirt, and is on course for a record-breaking year in dark blue. Nobody has scored more in European qualifying so far.

McTominay, McGinn, Gilmour and Callum McGregor provide a wonderful mix of poise and physicality in midfield, there is dynamism from the wing-backs Robertson and Aaron Hickey, and left centre-back Kieran Tierney. Depth backs them up from the bench.

It all seems to work and flow, to the point Scotland will not just fancy themselves to reach the Euros - that seems inevitable - but create far more of an impact at the tournament than they managed in 2021, when they went out with a whimper in the group stage.

That is the target Clarke has set this side. And with his nous and steely determination, they are on course to achieve it.

Match stats

  • Scotland have won their last 11 group stage qualifiers (World Cup/Euros), the longest ongoing run of any European side.

  • Cyprus have now lost their last seven European Championship qualifiers, their worst losing run since a 12-game run between 1987 and 1994.

  • Scotland have won five consecutive matches in all competitions, while netting two goals in each game, for the first time since November 1949 (run of 6).

  • Scotland went 2-0 up after 16 minutes - the earliest they've scored twice in a game since October 2007 against Ukraine (first 10 minutes) and earliest in an away game since May 1969 against Wales (also first 16 minutes).

  • McTominay now has six goals and one assist in Euro 2024 qualifying, the most goal involvements of any player so far.

  • The Manchester United midfielder has scored six goals in his last five Scotland appearances - he had only netted one in his first 37 caps. His assist for McGinn's goal was his first for Scotland.

  • Since Steve Clarke's first game in charge, McGinn has been involved in 24 goals (17 goals, 7 assists) - 11 more than any other player. Only six players have scored more goals for Scotland than McGinn (17).