Euro 2020: Scotland crash out after defeat to Croatia
Written by Hitmix News on 23 June 2021
Scotland have been knocked out of Euro 2020 after losing 3-1 against Croatia and finishing bottom of Group D.
The result in Glasgow means Scotland have still never managed to make it to the knockout stages of the competition.
Meanwhile at Wembley, England secured top spot in the same group after beating the Czech Republic 1-0.
At Hampden Park, Celtic’s Callum McGregor gave his side hope after he cancelled out Nikola Vlasic’s opener.
But Scottish hearts were broken after Luka Modric’s wonder-strike just after the hour mark left David Marshall clawing at thin air.
And their fate was confirmed on 77 minutes when Ivan Perisic scored from a corner.
Image: Luka Modric’s strike broke Scottish hearts
England played out their last game of the group stages, having already joined Wales in progressing to the next round.
Wembley saw a back-and-forth game between England and the Czech Republic, with both sides seeing a number of chances in the first half.
Image: Raheem Sterling’s header gave England the lead in the first half against the Czech Republic
But it was Raheem Sterling’s first-half header that sealed it for England – his second goal of the tournament.
The second half saw a number of changes as both teams had already qualified for the knock-outs and Jordan Henderson had a goal disallowed for offside.
England supporters gathered in Trafalgar Square in central London to watch their team progress out of the group stages.
Cheers rang around the fountains as Sterling nodded home after 12 minutes.
Image: Ivan Perisic broke Scottish hearts after scoring Croatia’s third
Emma Birkett, a key worker, said before the final whistle that she was hoping the Three Lions would finish second in Group D – to try and avoid a potential clash with France, Portugal or Germany.
She said: “There is something great about being an underdog because we are always almost there.
Image: Scotland captain Andy Robertson after his team conceded their third goal
“It would almost be better not to win this one because we don’t really want to go head to head with the ‘group of death’.”
Speaking after their win, Sterling told ITV: “At some point you are going to have to face the best teams, that’s the whole point of being in the tournament which is to challenge yourself.
Image: Sterling has scored England’s only two goals at the tournament
“Our objective from the beginning was to win the group. It’s tournament football and things are going to be difficult at times but we need to keep doing what we’re doing as a team which is being solid and taking our chances when we can.”
He added: “If you don’t concede goals you win football matches and we’ve been doing that really well.
“People are disappointed with the Scotland game a couple of days ago, we didn’t score but we didn’t concede and that’s the most important thing.”
After their defeat, the Scottish team’s Twitter account thanked the fans who had cheered on the players.
They said: “Our UEFA EURO 2020 journey comes to an end.
“Your support throughout the tournament has been truly incredible. We cannot say it enough: thank you.”
And Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was “proud” of the team.
She tweeted: “Not to be, but thank you @ScotlandNT for taking us to our first men’s tournament in 23 years – you’ve played your hearts out and we’ve been proud to cheer you on.”
Speaking after the game, goalscorer McGregor said: “The lads are shattered, we put so much into it. Too much quality in the end – the second goal, that’s what we’re up against at this level.
“It was a proud moment to get my first goal but ultimately we’re disappointed. It gives you the hunger to try and get back here.
“The fans were first-class, we just want to thank them.”
Image: Scotland’s team thanked the fans who had supported them
Fellow midfielder John McGinn told ITV: “We didn’t get off to best of starts in the group and tonight we came up against an excellent team with tournament experience. They’ve got one of the best players in the world in Luka Modric.
“We’ve got to use this experience to get to more tournaments. The World Cup is our aim now. We want this to be the start.
“We’re not used to this but we need to become a nation who are used to this.”