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Euro 2024: Scotland



Scotland cornered the global market in pre-tournament farewells in the magnificent if somewhat misplaced optimism of 1978, but for half the night at Hampden this was a party at the other end of the spectrum.

It was quiet and it was flat. Scotland had created nothing.

Lawrence Shankland, the deadliest striker in the Scottish Premiership, looked like a lost lamb.

John McGinn, one of the team’s most prolific contributors, was hushed and diminished, his ample bottom somehow bonier now.

The glorious goodbye that Clarke was looking for was not materialising, the “negative Normans” he spoke about pre-match were multiplying in number.

A turbulent preamble to Germany pockmarked by injury – still no sign of the utterly indispensable Scott McTominay – and poor form, and now a night that was supposed to sizzle and get the whole thing firing again was in danger of burning out.

Scotland looked like they’d be spared a limping exit from Glasgow, thanks in one part to an own goal off an Andy Robertson cross and in other part, a header from Shankland off another Robertson cross.

In those moments, Hampden didn’t exactly shake to its very foundations but the joy and relief was palpable.

After the losses to Spain, England, France, the Netherlands and Northern Ireland. and the less-than-euphoric 2-0 victory over Gibraltar – welcome back, feelgood. It’s been a while.

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