Scotland’s Euro 2023 Journey Ends After Thrashing from Croatia
Scotland’s 3:1 loss to Croatia dashed the team’s hopes of progressing to the knockout stages of a major tournament for the first time in the national team’s history.
Euro 2020 was the first major tournament for the team since the 1998 World Cup in France. The Scots needed a win in their last Group D fixture after losing to the Czech Republic and drawing against England.
The Scots started the game offensively, forcing the first corner within just ten seconds. However, the remainder of the match was dominated by their opponents, who had 64% of the ball possession.
The opening goal was scored by attacking midfielder Nikola Vlasic in the 17th minute. Scotland’s Callum McGregor stepped up to score the equalizer three minutes before halftime, which was also his first international goal.
After 60 minutes, Croatian captain, Luka Modric, restored the lead for his team with a strike from 20 yards. In the 77th minute, Ivan Perisic scored the third goal that took the Croats to the knockout stage. This left Scotland at the bottom of the group with just a single point.
Surprisingly, Scotland had a promising record against Croatia, drawing three and winning two of the previous five encounters.
Scotland’s manager Steve Clarke was forced to change his starting lineup for the game, with Stuart Armstrong replacing Billy Gilmour, who tested positive for COVID-19.
“The lads are shattered. They put so much energy into it … They just had too much quality in the end. That’s what you’re up against at this level. It’s a tough lesson. My first goal for my country was a proud moment, but ultimately, we’re disappointed. But it’s been an amazing experience; every one of us has learned so much. It just gives you the hunger to come back again to the international stage,” said Callum McGregor.
The knockout phase of the Euro 2020 is set to get underway on June 26, with sportsbooks unveiling their best betting offers that experienced punters are sure to appreciate.