EURO 2020 review: Scotland
Wednesday, 23 June 2021
Scotland's 11th major tournament campaign ended in a 11th group exit, but Alex O'Henley sees hope after they ended their 23-year finals absence.
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The objective was to reach the knockout stages of a major final tournament for the first time ever, but realistically Scotland were the lowest seeds in the group and their final position reflected that. Had they taken their chances in the matches against the Czech Republic and England, it might have been a different story.
What were the positives?
The game against England was almost perfect – all it needed was a winning goal. The performance of Billy Gilmour at Wembley was one of the highlights of the campaign and it was unfortunate the Chelsea playmaker was unavailable for the final match at Hampden Park.
Undoubtedly, the highlight for me was Gilmour's outstanding performance against England. Standing pitchside doing the Star of the Match interview with him afterwards was a real highlight as the Tartan Army, including his family, sang his name throughout.
What the future holds
Scotland will be better for this experience, no doubt, especially if they can convert more of the chances they create. The biggest lesson from this tournament is the need to be clinical when presented with goalscoring opportunities. If they can do that, we won't be waiting another 23 years to see Scotland in a major finals.
Predictions for the rest of EURO 2020
I tipped France to win it at the outset, and while they've been on a slow burner in the group stage, I still think they'll turn up when it matters. Italy were my dark horses and the Azzurri have been the great entertainers so far. No one will want to meet them in the knockout stages.