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Row Of Colours

Scotland's Best Performances at the European Championships

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Scotland's Best Performances at the European Championships

Scotland will be partaking in their fourth European Championships this summer. Along with England, they represent the only home nations present in Germany in this summer.

Steve Clarke’s side qualified for the tournament by finishing second in Group A in the qualification process. The Tartan Army were placed in a group with Spain, Norway, Cyprus and Georgia and they managed to finish six points above a Norway side boasting the likes of Erling Haaland and Martin Odegaard.

Scotland secured their ticket for the European Championships after Norway failed to beat Spain in Oslo, meaning Scotland qualified with two games to spare. Steve Clarke’s side won five of their opening six games to give them a strong platform to build upon.

Scott McTominay was instrumental in the qualifiers. The Manchester United midfielder scored seven goals and contributed a single assist in all eight of Scotland’s qualifying games.

With Scotland entering their fourth tournament, we look at their three campaigns thus far.

European Championships 1992

The European Championships in 1992 are probably best remembered for the unlikely triumph of Denmark, however, the tournament also marks the first time Scotland entered the tournament.

Scotland qualified for the tournament under Andy Roxburgh, thanks to a 1-1 draw between Romania and Bulgaria – meaning the Tartan Army would make their debut in this competition that summer of 1992.

Unfortunately for Roxburgh though, Scotland was drawn into a group consisting of the CIS (transitioning into the Russian national team because of political reasons). The current World Cup holders, Germany – who were also semi-finalists of Euros 1988 and reigning European Champions, the Netherlands.

Scotland performed well against the Netherlands and Germany, but they ultimately fell to defeats in both of those respective games. Scotland did record their first win at the European Championships thanks to a 3-0 win over the newly formed CIS national team.

Paul McStay, Brian McClair and Gary McAllister gave the Tartan Army all three points in their final group game.

European Championships 1996

Scotland’s best performance in the European Championships was arguably four years later in 1996 when the tournament was hosted by their arch-rivals England.

After Scotland failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup, Andy Roxburgh was replaced by Craig Brown who successfully guided Scotland to their second consecutive European Championships. Scotland finished second in their qualifying group behind Russia, in a group that also consisted of Greece, Faroe Islands, Finland and San Marino.

The Tartan Army started the tournament admirably with a 0-0 draw against the Netherlands. The result gave them confidence heading into the game against hosts England.

Scotland missed a penalty through Gary McAllister and was on the receiving end of one of the more famous goals in Football history at the hands of Paul Gascoigne.

Scotland recovered well to win their final group game against Switzerland, thanks to a goal from Ally McCoist. England and Scotland were both able to qualify until a late Netherlands goal to make it 4-1 to England meant that Scotland were eliminated.

Both the Netherlands and Scotland were equal in terms of points and goal difference, however, the Netherlands advanced thanks to goals scored.

European Championships 2020

Scotland’s most recent European Championships were the most recent one where the tournament was delayed a year due to the pandemic. Scotland were once again drawn in a group alongside England.

Steve Clarke led the national side to their first major tournament in 23 years – the first since the World Cup in 1998. Scotland qualified through the play-off route which was determined by the nation's ranking in the UEFA Nations League.

Clarke’s men were placed in Pathway C in a group consisting of Israel, Serbia and Norway.

Scotland won both games via a penalty shootout with Kenneth McLean providing the match-winner on both occasions.

Scotland was placed in a group alongside the Czech Republic and Croatia, with England as already mentioned. Scotland produced a credible draw at Wembley against England, although the draw was sandwiched in between defeats against Czech Republic and Croatia.

In the game against the Czech Republic, Patrik Schick recorded the longest strike seen at the tournament since 1980.

How will Scotland fare in Euro 2024?

Scotland are drawn into Group A for the tournament this summer and are rewarded with the opening fixture against the hosts Germany.

Ideally for Scotland, unless they obtain a result against Germany, they will look towards the games against Switzerland and Hungary to have a chance at progression.

The Tartan Army would want to finish second ideally, however, they can also qualify by being the best third-placed team in the groups.

For their opening game against Germany, the odds are against them historically.

Scotland haven’t beaten Germany in a competitive fixture in their entirety and their last recorded victory against the hosts was a 1-0 friendly win in 1999, where Don Hutchison scored the winner.

Steve Clarke’s side have beaten Hungary more recently in 2018 and they last faced Switzerland in a competitive fixture in 1996 where they won 1-0.

Scotland have shown through their qualifying campaign that they look a much better outfit than the one that performed at the last tournament. If they manage to replicate some of those performances, there is no reason why they can’t finish within the top two.

However, we predict Scotland will finish third in their group behind Germany and Hungary.

Group Dates

Germany vs Scotland (14/06/2024) – 8:00 PM Kick-Off

Scotland vs Switzerland (19/06/2024) – 8:00 PM Kick-Off

Scotland vs Hungary (23/06/2024) – 8.00 PM Kick-Off