The nation was on a massive high after a 0-0 draw with England – but after a positive Covid-19 test for Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour and disappointing night against Croatia, Scotland have had their Euro 2020 dream ended.
Scotland were handed a first half setback as Nikola Vlasic opened the scoring for Croatia. Celtic’s Callum McGregor netted a memorable leveler for Scotland but Luka Modric’s screamer put Croatia back in front, his corner then setting Ivan Perisic up for a third Croatia goal to seal a 3-1 win, Steve Clarke’s side toiling without Chelsea star Gilmour.
The Chelsea midfielder was inspirational in the 0-0 draw with England on Friday to give Scotland a chance of progressing to the last 16 in this match, but were unable to find victory against the 2018 World Cup finalists. Here are three things we learned.
Gilmour’s a huge Scotland miss
It’s a compliment to the Chelsea talent that Scotland miss a player with one competitive cap so much. Gilmour adds the technical class this Scotland side misses without him, and while not on the level of Modric, he’s the closest thing Scotland have. He was a huge, huge miss and his omission due to Covid-19 adds to the what could have been story.
There it is, that same old sinking feeling we’ve been used to. Scotland have never reached the knockout stages of a major tournament before and again have missed out. Perhaps blessings have to be counted with Euro 2020 the first finals for Scotland since 1998, but it’s a bitter blow all the same.
It’s been a good run for Scotland and we loathe to criticise anyone involved with the Euros campaign. But it must be questioned why changes weren’t made in this game sooner. McGregor’s goal provided hope but Scotland let Croatia come onto them after half-time, scoring twice with ease. Only then were changes made, and even then, they were like-for-like.
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