Scotland thrashed by hosts Germany in Euro 2024 opener

Scotland thrashed by hosts Germany in Euro 2024 opener

Scotland’s Euro 2024 optimism was bludgeoned to a pulp by Germany in their Group A opener with Ryan Porteous seeing red before the interval in a 5-1 defeat.

Scotland’s Euro 2024 optimism was bludgeoned to a pulp by Germany in their Group A opener with Ryan Porteous seeing red before the interval in a 5-1 defeat.

Florian Wirtz opened the scoring for the hosts in the 10th minute with fellow attacker Jamal Musiala adding a second nine minutes later as Steve Clarke’s side were simply outclassed in the Munich Arena.

Defender Porteous was deservedly sent off just before the break for conceding a penalty with a reckless tackle, and Kai Havertz netted.

Substitute Niclas Fullkrug made it 4-0 in the 68th minute with a magnificent drive and then had a goal ruled offside as the 10-men in dark blue continued their struggle.

Germany defender Antonio Rudiger scored into his own net but that was cancelled out by substitute Emre Can to make it 5-1.

The beleaguered Scots face Switzerland in Cologne next week before taking on Hungary in Stuttgart. They have to quickly get this performance and result out of their heads while the Tartan Army will also have to regroup.

Tens of thousands of Scotland fans had flooded into Munich and they helped with the noise and colour inside the packed stadium.

Clarke opted for Anthony Ralston as right wing-back and a midfield of Scott McTominay, Callum McGregor, John McGinn and Ryan Christie, with playmaker Billy Gilmour perhaps unlucky to be on the bench.

Midfielder Toni Kroos had been tempted out of international retirement but Die Mannschaft boss Julian Nagelsmann had other class players such as Manuel Neuer, Rudiger, captain Ilkay Gundogan and Havertz, albeit it was their young guns who began the damage in the first half.

A spectacular opening ceremony, and two anthems boomed out loud, preceded a whirlwind start from the hosts.

Scotland goalkeeper Angus Gunn had to make a crucial save after a minute from 21-year-old Wirtz, although the offside flag went up.

However, the Scots were not so lucky when Wirtz took a pass from Joshua Kimmich at the edge of the box and fired in a low drive which Gunn touched on the post before it went in.

Germany’s domination of the ball continued and their next goal was well-worked, starting with a defence-splitting pass from Gundogan and when Havertz laid off the ball to Musiala, the 21-year-old took a set-up touch and fired the ball high past the helpless Gunn.

Scotland were being ripped apart.

In the 24th minute, when Musiala went down at the edge of the box under a challenge by Kieran Tierney and Christie, French referee Clement Turpin pointed to the spot but after a long VAR check a free-kick just outside the box was given, with Gunn saving Havertz’s shot.

But it went from bad to worse for Clarke’s side.

Gunn made a great save from a Gundogan header but the Germany captain was then tackled heavily by Porteous which led to a VAR check.

Clement went pitchside to view his monitor, awarded a penalty and sent off Porteous before Havertz sent Gunn the wrong way to effectively win the tie.

Grant Hanley came on for lone striker Che Adams for the start of the second half, with Christie playing furthest forward as the Germans looked to have dropped down a gear or two.

However, seconds after McGinn and McGregor were replaced by Gilmour and Kenny McLean, Fullkrug, on for Havertz, beat Gunn with an unstoppable drive and then forced the ball over the line again eight minutes later, thwarted, however, by the offside flag.

Rudiger’s own goal, turning in a header by Scotland substitute Scott McKenna, was loudly cheered by the Tartan Army but Can curled in a fifth from the edge of the box.

It was a calamitous night for Clarke and his men and they will need instant rehabilitation.

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