McTominay earns 50th cap in Euro 2024 opener

Friday 14 June 2024 22:14

While Scotland fans will no doubt be disappointed to have started Euro 2024 with a 5-1 defeat to hosts Germany on Friday, Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay celebrated an impressive landmark for the Tartan Army.

Scotland's no.4 was named in Steve Clarke's starting XI for the match at the Allianz Arena, earning his 50th appearance since his international debut in 2018.

The opening match of Euro 2024 is quite the stage to reach such an achievement but, despite the positive buzz and masses of Scottish supporters who piled into Bayern Munich's stadium, Germany quickly deflated that optimism.

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Young midfielder Florian Wirtz, whose only defeat in all competitions with Bayer Leverkusen in 2023/24 came in the Europa League final, struck first, as his strike from the edge of the box was too powerful for Scotland keeper Angus Gunn to stop.

Bayern starlet Jamal Musiala made it 2-0 after 19 minutes, smashing a fierce effort beyond Gunn to give the tournament hosts clear daylight.

The Tartan Army rallied but, despite showing fight and guile in the first 45 minutes, their task became more difficult on the stroke of half-time when defender Ryan Porteous was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Barcelona midfielder Ilkay Gundogan. Referee Clement Turpin dismissed the Watford centre-back and awarded a penalty, which Arsenal forward Kai Havertz dispatched with ease.

With Scotland being one man down, the pattern of the second half was very much attack versus defence.

Germany continued to press and, in the 68th minute, substitute Niclas Fullkrug finished off a well-worked move with a rocket into the top corner.

The Borussia Dortmund striker thought he had his second goal soon after, but it was ruled out for offside.

Despite the disappointment, the Tartan Army did have something to cheer in the latter stages, as Scott McKenna's header was deflected beyond Manuel Neuer by Antonio Rudiger.

These cheers from this consolation were shortlived, however, as Emre Can found the bottom corner from the edge of the box in injury time.

It's not the start McTominay or his nation will have wanted at Euro 2024 but Clarke's team have group-stage matches against Switzerland (Wednesday 19 June) and Hungary (Sunday 23 June) to try and progress to the knockout rounds.