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McCoist magic not enough for Scotland in EURO '96 Group A

Scotland 1-0 Switzerland
Ally McCoist won the game, but Craig Brown's side narrowly missed out on qualification.

Ally McCoist scored the only goal
Ally McCoist scored the only goal ©Getty Images

Scotland upheld their side of the bargain and came within a whisker of an unlikely quarter-final berth, only to be denied by events elsewhere in Group A.

With a solitary point to their name heading into their final fixture in the section, Scotland knew victory and a sizeable shift in goal difference was required for them to progress at the Netherlands' expense. While Ally McCoist's 36th-minute strike set them on their way for the triumph they required, the Auld Enemy, England, had taken a 4-0 lead against the Dutch – Craig Brown's side were, remarkably, second in the group with time running out. Patrick Kluivert scuppered their hopes, though, earning the Dutch a late consolation which ensured they squeezed through to the last eight on goals scored.

EURO '96: All you need to know

The Scots could have found themselves in an even rosier position prior to Kluivert's effort had McCoist not spurned two presentable opportunities prior to his goal. It was a case of third time lucky, however, the Rangers striker beating goalkeeper Marco Pascolo with a rasping first-time drive from outside the penalty area.

The best goals of EURO '96

Gary McAllister and Stuart McCall were an assertive force in midfield and though Switzerland rarely looked like working their way back into contention, the Scots were unable to add the second which would have put them through on goal difference.

EURO '96: Team of the Tournament


Colin Hendry reacts to Scotland's elimination
Colin Hendry reacts to Scotland's eliminationGetty Images

Scotland: Goram; Boyd, Hendry, Calderwood, Tosh McKinlay (Booth 60); Collins, McAllister (c), McCall, Burley; McCoist (Spencer 84), Durie
Substitutes: Leighton, McKimmie, Whyte, Jess, Billy McKinlay, Gallacher, Jackson, Gemmill, Walker
Coach: Craig Brown

Switzerland: Pascolo; Quentin (Comisetti 81), Vega, Henchoz, Hottiger; Vogel Sforza (c), Bonvin, Koller (Wicky 46); Türkyilmaz, Chapuisat (Fournier 46)
Substitutes: Geiger, Sylvestre, Lehmann, Jeanneret, Rothenbühler, Sesa, Corminboeuf
Coach: Artur Jorge

Referee: Václav Krondl (Czech Republic)

Man of the Match: Stuart McCall (Scotland)