Foot Europe Steve Clarke: It was difficult night vs Germany, Scotland didn’t play to standard

Scotland coach Steve Clarke admitted his side faced a tough night in Munich after suffering a 5-1 Euro 2024 opener defeat at Allianz Arena in Munich on Friday

Florian Wirtz, Leverkusen’s talisman in their march to a maiden Bundesliga title last season, tested Scotland goalkeeper Angus Gunn inside the opening 60 seconds, only to be ruled offside from Antonio Rudiger’s pass.

Wirtz was on the scoresheet less than ten minutes later, however, his first-time shot from Joshua Kimmich’s ball finding the bottom corner via the inside of the post.

Spurred on by their vociferous supporters, Germany continued to pin Scotland pack and doubled their advantage midway through the first half. An incisive passing move ended with Kai Havertz picking out Musiala, who fashioned space inside a crowded penalty area before lashing the ball into the roof of the net.

Things went from bad to worse for Steve Clarke’s team shortly before the interval, when Ryan Porteous was dismissed for a foul on İlkay Gundogan inside the area – and Havertz made no mistake from the resulting spot kick.

There was no let-up for Clarke’s charges after the break. Leroy Sané and Maximilian Mittelstädt both went close to adding to Germany’s lead, but substitute Niclas Füllkrug eventually made it 4-0 with a thumping strike after the ball fell kindly for the Dortmund striker on the edge of the box.

Rudiger inadvertently steered a header past Manuel Neuer to give Scotland a consolation, yet Emre Can put the icing on the cake for the hosts with a low finish in added time.

“It’s a difficult night. Obviously we didn’t play to our standard. I thought the German team were excellent. I feel as though we’ve let ourselves down. We’re better than we showed tonight and hopefully we can show that in the next two games. We need four points from the next two games, and that’s what we’ll focus on,” Clarke said after the game.

Andy Robertson, Scotland defender said: “We didn’t put enough pressure on the ball and Toni Kroos pretty much dictated everything. His passing ability is probably the best in the world and when you allow a player like that on the ball and you don’t get close to him, unfortunately he’s going to pick out the right passes.”

Dennis Mabuka

Dennis Mabuka is a seasoned Kenyan journalist with 18 years of experience covering sports events. He is currently a sport content creator with

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