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Netherlands denied by stubborn Scotland in EURO '96 Group A

Netherlands 0-0 Scotland
Scotland showed impressive cohesion to open their Group A campaign with a point.

Edgar Davids is challenged by Scotland's Gary McAllister
Edgar Davids is challenged by Scotland's Gary McAllister Icon Sport via Getty Images

Scotland and the Netherlands started their Group A campaigns with a goalless draw in Birmingham.

Normally host to the claret and blue of Aston Villa FC, Villa Park was on this occasion a wall of altogether different colour and sound, from the bagpipes of 'The Tartan Army' to the trumpets of the Oranje's travelling contingent. The Dutch were not at their fluent best but could nevertheless have emerged victorious had they converted one of a series of chances far more presentable than any of those carved out by Scotland.

EURO '96: All you need to know

Guus Hiddink's team were without the suspended Danny Blind but looked no less threatening going forward in the absence of their captain. They soon made their presence felt and were unfortunate not to go in front early on, Andy Goram doing superbly to deny Clarence Seedorf. Dennis Bergkamp, more advanced than was his wont at the time, spurned two further opportunities before the break as the Dutch continued to dominate.

The best goals of EURO '96
The best goals of EURO '96

Seedorf had a splendid chance to earn their just reward eight minutes into the second half but failed to make sufficient contact with Gaston Taument's cross. Though Craig Brown's side failed to provide Edwin van der Sar with too stern a test, they displayed impressive resilience and cohesion to leave their opponents frustrated.

EURO '96: Team of the Tournament

Lineups

Scotland line up ahead of the Netherlands game
Scotland line up ahead of the Netherlands gameIcon Sport via Getty Images

Netherlands: Van der Sar; Bogarde, De Kock, Reiziger; Witschge (Cocu 78), Davids, Seedorf, Ronald de Boer (c) (Winter 68); Cruyff, Bergkamp, Taument (Kluivert 63)
Substitutes
: Stam, Hoekstra, Numan, De Goey, Mulder, Hesp, Veldman
Coach: Guus Hiddink

Scotland: Goram; Boyd, Hendry, Calderwood, McKimmie (Burley 85); Collins, McAllister (c), McCall; Booth (Spencer 46), Gallacher (Billy McKinlay 56), Durie
Substitutes
: Leighton, Whyte, McCoist, Tosh McKinlay, Jess, Jackson, Gemmill, Walker
Coach: Craig Brown

Referee: Leif Sundell (Sweden)

Man of the Match: Gary McAllister (Scotland)