Tartan Army continue march towards Euro 2024 qualification


Tartan Army continue march towards Euro 2024 qualification

Scotland's John McGinn, left, celebrates after scoring against Cyprus
Scotland's John McGinn, left, celebrates after scoring against CyprusProfimedia
Steve Clarke’s Scotland side are now just one win away from securing qualification to back-to-back UEFA European Championships for only the second time in their history, having despatched a sorry Cyprus side 4-0 in Larnaca.

At the start of an international break which Scotland hope will yield qualification to next year’s European Championships, the Tartan Army had a whopping three goals to celebrate during a first half dominated by the visitors.

It started in style after five minutes, when the in-form Scott McTominay latched onto John McGinn’s flick on inside the six-yard box to head home from close range, sending the travelling fans spewing across one side of the AEK ARENA into raptures.

Knowing three points would’ve put them on the brink of securing qualification to the tournament, Scotland continued to push on in the search for more goals, with Ryan Porteous doubling their advantage 10 minutes later.

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Once again causing havoc with balls into the Cyprus penalty area, this time it was Jack Hendry with the knockdown for Porteous, who poked an instinctive effort underneath the onrushing Joël Mall.

All before McGinn rounded off a flawless first-half showing for Clarke’s side, with the Aston Villa man sweeping home a left-footed strike from the edge of the area to make it 3-0 to Scotland.

While the three points were effectively secured in the opening 45 minutes, the away side remained relentless in their endeavours for more goals to add to their tally in Group A.

Perhaps in part down to rivals Spain’s 7-1 drubbing of Georgia earlier in the day, Scotland came close to adding a fourth through starman McTominay, whose rasping strike from outside the box cannoned against the far-right post.

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The biggest compliment on offer to Clarke and Co. is they look like a side ready to compete at an international tournament. While the Euro 2020 campaign was spirited, it was often toothless, yet this iteration of the Scotland team looks balanced and ready to compete.

They could find out their fate as early as Tuesday, should results elsewhere go their way, but top of the group and in cruise control, it’s difficult to see a world where Scotland aren’t lining up in Germany next summer.

Flashscore Player of the Match: Scott McTominay (Scotland)

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