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Scotland produce ‘good reaction to disappointing night’ to boost Euro 2024 hopes

Scotland produce ‘good reaction to disappointing night’ to boost Euro 2024 hopes

Steve Clarke claims the real Scotland showed themselves in the 1-1 draw against Switzerland which keeps their Euro 2024 hopes alive.

The Scots were thrashed 5-1 by Germany in the opening Group A game in Munich on Friday which left the Scots boss and the Tartan Army demanding a reaction which they got.

Scott McTominay’s shot in the 13th minute was deflected in by Swiss defender Fabian Schar before Xherdan Shaqiri took advantage of an Anthony Ralston error in the 26th minute to level in Cologne.

Germany have qualified on six points, Switzerland are on four with Scotland on one ahead of their final game against pointless Hungary in Stuttgart on Sunday.

“It was what we expected,” said Clarke, who confirmed defender Kieran Tierney will not play against Hungary after picking up an injury and being taken off on a stretcher.

“This is the way we have been playing as a team for the last three or four years. It is why we are here at a major tournament.

“I thought it was a good team performance against a good opponent.

“It was a good reaction to a disappointing night and we are still alive in the tournament.

Steve Clarke shouts instructions on the touchline as Andy Robertson takes a throw-in
Steve Clarke gestures on the touchline during the UEFA Euro 2024 Group A match at the Cologne Stadium in Cologne, Germany. Picture date: Wednesday June 19, 2024.

“Sometimes as a player or manager it doesn’t go your way and it certainly didn’t go our way on Friday night.

“Tonight was about getting back to what we are good at, working hard, making sure we got the preparation right, and I think we did.

“They are going to feel a lot better going into the next game on the back of that kind of performance.

“We showed that as well as the aggression and fight and that dirty side of the game if you like, we can play.

John McGinn battles for the ball with Switzerland's Fabian Schar
John McGinn battles for the ball with Switzerland’s Fabian Schar (Bradley Collyer/PA)

“When we get the ball down we play, we created some chances, Switzerland created some chances.

“We did what we had to do and are still in the competition.”

Clarke claimed only Shaqiri in the Switzerland side could have come up with his terrific finish from distance.

He said: “When Tony made the mistake – a small mistake that could have been recovered – any other player on the Swiss team, it is not a goal. It tells you what I think of him.

Xherdan Shaqiri slides on his knees as he celebrates his equaliser for Switzerland
Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates his equaliser (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“You know it was destined for the top corner. He is a top player and you don’t give top players that kind of chance.”

Clarke said he was glad to be asked about goalkeeper Angus Gunn, who made several mistakes after being criticised following his display against Germany.

“You need your goalkeeper to make some good saves,” the Scotland boss added.

“He made two or three big saves and that’s what you need. I am really pleased for him.”

Switzerland boss Murat Yakin, whose side should qualify even if they lose to Germany, was not surprised by Scotland’s improvement.

Angus Gunn dives to his left to ave from Switzerland’s Dan Ndoye
Angus Gunn saves from Switzerland’s Dan Ndoye (Bradley Collyer/PA)

He said: “Scotland needed to bounce back after first match, their pride was hurt, so we expected them to react.

“We had to expect pressure and for them to shut down space. We fell behind and had to spend more energy than expected to equalise and that helped us. We really missed some good opportunities.

“It was a tough match and it will be a hard-fought game between Scotland and Hungary.

“It will be a different match against Germany. We don’t have to win but it will be a difficult match.”