Scotland recorded a historic victory over Spain on Tuesday evening at Glasgow´s Hampden Park Stadium. Although everyone had their money on Spain before the game, the roles were quickly reversed and Scotland now takes the lead in the group table of the UEFA European Championship Qualifiers.
The Spanish side started the game as top favorites in the qualifying pool for the European Championship. Last Saturday, they effortlessly beat Norway 3-0. However, Scotland proved too strong for Cyprus a few days ago, when they also won by 3-0. The Scots went into last night´s game having not won against Spain since 1984.
Scotland soon took the lead
Still, it was Scotland who took advantage of a mistake by Pedro Porro in the seventh minute. Later in the first half another good chance followed for the Scots and also two for Spain. However, these chances came to nothing.
Then, after the break, the Scots struck again. Moreover, it was Manchester United’s McTominay who claimed his second goal of the match. The midfielder has made a cracking start to this European Championship qualifying tournament having scored no fewer than four goals in the past two games. McTominay sits 2nd equal on the goal scoring table alongside Ronaldo. Both have scored 4 goals. Denmark´s Rasmus Hojlund is just ahead in the top spot having scored 5 goals.
European Championship qualifications group A
With last night´s result, it means the cards are shuffled slightly differently than expected within group A of the European Championship qualification. Scotland currently lead the group by 6 points. Spain are now in second place with 3 points. Georgia, Norway and Cyprus are at the bottom with 1, 1 and 0 points respectively. Georgia and Cyprus, however, have only played one game so far, but the two teams will meet on June 17. Earlier on this same day, Scotland will play against Norway. Then, Scotland play again on June 20 against Georgia. Spain, however, will have to wait until September to continue their qualification bid for Euro 2024 with a match against Georgia. This will be followed with their game against Cyprus. On October 12, Spain have the opportunity to take revenge against Scotland. But a lot can happen between now and then!
Spain can also qualify via Nations League
After Spain´s defeat against Scotland, all is not lost. The first 2 in each group qualify for the European Championship. Even if Spain ultimately does not finish in the top 2, there is the possibility to qualify through the Nations League. The Spanish side of national coach Luis de la Fuente will play against Italy on June 15 in Enschede for the semi-finals of the Nations League. The day before, the Netherlands and Croatia play against each other. The winners of both games will play the final in Rotterdam on Sunday 18 June.
Besides the prestige of the Nations League, there is more at stake in this tournament. If a country does not succeed in qualifying for the European Championship 2024, the Nations League could serve as a safety net. The four highest ranked countries of League A, B and C, which do not qualify for the European Championship, will compete in play-offs. Consequently, there are still three places up for grabs (1 per League) for the Championship.