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England vs Scotland: Five famous meetings

It is over 150 years since England and Scotland met in the first ever official international football game; we look back on five of the neighbours' highest-profile encounters.

England vs Scotland EURO '96 anthems

On 30 November 1872, England took on Scotland at the Hamilton Crescent cricket ground in Partick, Glasgow, in what FIFA have endorsed as the first-ever senior international football game. A crowd of around 4,000 watched the sides play out a 0-0 draw on a rain-sodden pitch. The neighbours' maiden official encounter was perhaps not a thriller, but plenty of subsequent encounters between the Auld Enemies have been, as UEFA.com dicovers.

Jimmy McMullan leads Scotland out ahead of their 1928 triumph
Jimmy McMullan leads Scotland out ahead of their 1928 triumph©Getty Images

England 1-5 Scotland
31 March 1928, friendly

Scotland won In a decade which the boys from north of the border dominated by winning six and losing two of the countries' ten meetings, this Scottish demolition job at Wembley proved a highlight. Against an England side led by Everton's Dixie Dean – on his way to a record 60 goals in an English league season – Scotland never gave the hosts a chance. Huddersfield Town's Alex Jackson opened the scoring for the Scots in the third minute before going on to complete a hat-trick and Alex James added a double for the visitors who were dubbed the Wembley Wizards. "We could have had ten!" boasted James after the destruction.

Jimmy Greaves scores England's third past the lueckless Frank Haffey in 1961
Jimmy Greaves scores England's third past the lueckless Frank Haffey in 1961©Getty Images

England 9-3 Scotland,
15 April 1961, friendly

A game which has gone down in history as the one that forced Scottish goalkeeper Frank Haffey to emigrate to Australia. It was the second, and last, international of the Celtic stalwart's career, and though the custodian will not remember it has his best, coming up against some of England's finest players did not help. Bobby Robson broke the deadlock before a Jimmy Greaves treble while Bobby Smith and Johnny Haynes also picked up two apiece. Though blame was heaped on Haffey, Haynes absolved the visiting No1. "Even the best keeper in the world wouldn't have denied us," he said. "We'd have run amok whoever was in goal. We'd have beaten any team anywhere."

Bobby Lennox is congratulated by Willie Wallace (left) and Jim Baxter (right) after scoring Scotland's second at Wembley
Bobby Lennox is congratulated by Willie Wallace (left) and Jim Baxter (right) after scoring Scotland's second at Wembley©Getty Images

England 2-3 Scotland
15 April 1967, friendly

The Scots declared themselves unofficial world champions after becoming the first side to beat the 1966 FIFA World Cup winners since their triumph the year before, ending England's 19-match undefeated run in the process. In front of 99,000 spectators, Denis Law and Bobby Lennox – one of four Celtic players to go on and lift the European Cup the next season – put the visitors two up before Jack Charlton pulled one back late on. Jim McCalliog restored the advantage before Geoff Hurst's consolation. "We'd just decided to enjoy ourselves, and it worked," recalled Scotland's Jim Baxter. "And it was fun, my God it was."

EURO '96 highlights: England 2-0 Scotland

Scotland 0-2 England
15 June 1996, EURO '96 group stage

A match remembered for Paul Gascoigne's brilliance was itself a brilliant affair as the teams faced off in a major tournament for the first time. After both sides drew their initial EURO '96 group games, they came into the British derby desperate for victory and England were set on their way by Alan Shearer's header in the 53rd minute. Scotland were given hope with a 76th-minute penalty but David Seaman denied Gary McAllister before 'Gazza' clinched the win with a stunning strike. The midfielder lobbed the ball over Colin Hendry before finishing with a thrilling volley. "It was just amazing, amazing," said England boss Terry Venables. "But you are not surprised with him."

Highlights: England 0-0 Scotland

England 0-0 Scotland
18 June 2021, EURO 2020 group stage

England had denied their neighbours a place at EURO 2000 with a 2-1 aggregate victory in the play-offs for the final tournament, and were given an unexpectedly tough examination by their neighbours as they reconvened in London in their second group stage game at EURO 2020. John Stones headed against the post for England but Scotland probably had the better chances, Reece James notably blocking a Lyndon Dykes effort on the goal-line. "Looking at it, you wouldn't have known which team was the favourite, which is a credit to us," said Scotland boss Steve Clarke. "We had the big chances," added captain Andrew Robertson. "On another night we could have come away with even more.

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