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Africa Tartan Army sounds the lament as Scotland exit Euro finals

The party’s over for Scotland; time to call it a day. The Tartan Army had swarmed all over Germany for the UEFA Euro, chanting: “No Scotland, no party!” in streets, in squares, on stations and on trams and trains.

But a 1-0 defeat by Hungary in Stuttgart wrecked the dream that manager Steve Clarke’s men should boldly go where no Scotland team had gone before – into the knockout phase of a major tournament. The long must go on after Hungarian substitute Kevin Csoboth struck in the ninth minute of stoppage time.

Simultaneously in Group A hosts Germany and Switzerland drew 1-1 in Frankfurt to finish first and second. Hungary must wait to see whether three points will be enough to take them through to the knockout stage among the four best third-place teams. Scotland, after being badly beaten by Germany and drawing 1-1 with the Swiss, ended up fourth and bottom and out.

This was Scotland’s 12th major tournament and in six they have failed to win a match – at the World Cups of 1954, 1958, 1986 and 1998 and now the Euro finals in 2020 and 2024.

SAD FOR EVERYBODY Manager Steve Clarke said: “The overriding feeling is to be sad for everybody, for the supporters and the country. The players are just as sad as everyone else.” Clarke was upset that Argentinian referee Facundo Tello did not award Scotland a second-half penalty after a tangle between Stuart Armstrong and defender Willi Orban.

In fact his team were undermined by a performance which was anything but Scotland the brave. They had not one attempt on goal until Che Adams shot high over the bar early in the second half. Not that Hungary were much better but they did spring finally to attacking life in the 10 minutes of second-half stoppage time. Andras Schafer and Dominik Szoboszlai forced fine saves from keeper Angus Gunn before substitute Kevin Csoboth scored the counter-attacking winning goal.

The second half ran on so long because of lengthy treatment for Hungary’s Barnabas Varga after he had been knocked unconscious in a collision with Gunn. Varga’s condition was later reported as “stable” in a Stuttgart hospital.

DRAW IN FRANKFURT Simultaneously in Frankfurt substitute Niclas Fullkrug scored a late equaliser to rescue a 1-1 draw against a Switzerland team who had taken a first-half lead through Dan Ndoye. Germany fielding the same starting line-up for the third successive match and, perhaps not surprisingly, looked lethargic in the first half.

Later Kai Havertz twice headed over the bar and captain Ilkay Gundogan sliced a shot wide before Fullkrug broke through. Germany will play the runners-up from Group C in Dortmund on Saturday. Switzerland will play the runners-up from Group B in Berlin.

Credit: AIPS Media

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