Scotland knocked out of Euro 2020 after 3-1 defeat by Croatia at Hampden

Scotland were unable to banish 67 years of hurt in major tournament finals as they crashed out of Euro 2020 at the hands of a markedly superior Croatian side at Hampden on Tuesday night.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 9:54 pm
Croatian captain Luke Modric guides a stunning shot beyond helpless Scotland goalkeeper David Marshall at Hampden. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Croatian captain Luke Modric guides a stunning shot beyond helpless Scotland goalkeeper David Marshall at Hampden. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

The nation’s 11th appearance at a finals tournament went the way of all the others, stretching back to the 1954 World Cup, as they made their exit at the group stage.

Knowing only a win would be good enough to take them into the last 16, Steve Clarke’s men fell behind after just 17 minutes to Nikola Vlasic’s strike.

Croatia were the dominant side but Scotland grabbed a lifeline three minutes before half-time when Callum McGregor scored a superb equaliser against the run of play. It was Scotland’s first goal at Euro 2020 and the Celtic midfielder’s first in his country’s colours.

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But the revived hope it provided for the 12,000 crowd inside the national stadium evaporated when Croatian captain Luka Modric deservedly restored his team’s lead midway through the second half with a sumptuous shot from the edge of the penalty area.

Any prospect of another Scotland fightback was firmly ended when Ivan Perisic headed in a third goal for Croatia who joined England and Czech Republic in progressing from Group D.

The margin of victory did not flatter Croatia who belied the pre-match narrative which labelled the 2018 World Cup finalists as a team in decline. Scotland could have no complaints at the outcome, having lost two matches on home soil in the group stage, with last Friday’s gritty 0-0 draw against England at Wembley simply flattering to deceive.

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