Scotland have ended a 23 year wait to qualify for a major tournament as the finalised groups for UEFA Euro 2020 next summer were confirmed.
Steve Clarke’s Tartan Army prevailed over Serbia in a nervy encounter which saw Celtic’s Ryan Christie and Callum McGregor combine before Christie calmly finished his shot to fire Scotland ahead, only for Luka Jovic to head in a 90th minute leveller to send the match to extra-time and ultimately penalties.
All nine opening spot-kicks were scored with Scotland 5-4 up heading into the final spot-kick before sudden death when Fulham’s Aleksandr Mitrovic stepped up for Serbia but his penalty towards the bottom right corner was saved by David Marshall who dived the correct way to send Scotland through on penalties after a dramatic 1-1 draw in Belgrade.
Scotland will now join England, Czech Republic and Croatia in Group D at next summer’s Finals with the mouth-watering battle of Britain set to take place at Wembley Stadium on Friday 18 June 2021 with a 8pm BST kick-off.
Northern Ireland meanwhile missed out on a spot in Group E after losing 2-1 to Slovakia following extra-time in Belfast as Michal Duris fired in the visitors’ 110th minute, after a 88th minute own goal from Milan Skriniar rescued the hosts after they fell behind to Juraj Kucka’s 17th minute effort from George Saville’s misplaced backward header allowed Kucka through to score.
Slovakia will therefore join Spain, Sweden and Poland in a tough Group E with ties being held in Bilbao and Dublin next June.
Late goals from Loic Nego and Dominik Szoboszlai saw Hungary come from behind to break Iceland’s hearts after the visitors led through Gylfi Sigurdsson’s 11th minute free-kick, and book their place at Euro 2020 in a brutal group containing Euro 2016’s champions and finalists in Portugal and France respectively alongside 2014 World Cup winners – Germany.
For Hungary and Portugal, this is the second consecutive Euro tournament in which they have been drawn together and again in Group F where they drew 3-3 in June 2016, which coincidentally also contained Iceland of whom Hungary defeated tonight to qualify for the Finals.
North Macedonia meanwhile qualified for their first-ever major finals after 37 year-old Goran Pandev poked in a momentous goal to defeat Georgia, with the Red Lions set to join Netherlands, Ukraine and Austria in Group C.
Here are the final groups for the delayed Euro 2020 which takes place from 11 June – 11 July 2021.
|Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D||Group E||Group F|