McTominay double gives Scotland famous win over Spain
Scotland’s Scott McTominay grabbed another brace of goals as they stunned a much-changed Spain side to earn a deserved 2-0 victory in their Euro 2024 qualifier at Hampden Park on Tuesday and maintain their perfect start to the campaign.
The win was a first for the Scots over their Iberian opponents since 1984 and ensured they top Group A on six points from two games, while second-placed Spain have three.
It was a first defeat for Spain in a Euro qualifier since a loss in Slovakia in 2014 and they had won 17 of their 19 fixtures since then.
McTominay also scored twice off the bench in a 3-0 win over Cyprus on Saturday and was the catalyst for what will go down as a famous win and further entrench manager Steve Clarke’s view that they are a team very much on the up.
“We did really, really well,” McTominay told Viaplay. “We knew they’d have lots of the ball, and the manager said be clinical when we had the opportunities.
“Everyone was at it, diving around, making the game slow. It’s difficult, but sometimes that’s the way it’s got to be. When you’re winning you’ve got to do stuff like that.
“The manager said this is our chance to create legacies as Scotland players and these are the nights in 20, 30 years that people remember.”
New Spain coach Luis de la Fuente made eight changes from the side that beat Norway 3-0 in Malaga at the weekend and it showed as they battled to get any sustained momentum in the game as their hosts harried and pressed them into numerous errors.
McTominay profited from a Pedro Porro slip to score his first goal, as Andy Robertson picked up possession in the box and played the ball into his path, and then got on the end of an excellent run and cross from Kieran Tierney for number two.
De la Fuente handed a first start to 33-year-old striker Joselu and he hit the crossbar with a header midway through the opening period on a frustrating night for the visitors when tempers at times threatened to boil over.
Scotland might have had a third goal had Lyndon Dykes not scooped his shot over the bar with just goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga to beat. Ryan Christie also fired wide when well placed in the first half.
The home side’s pressing was excellent, forcing Spain into errors as the visitors seemed determined to pass their way out of trouble but only sank deeper into it.
“It is clear that they played a good game. We have no excuses,” Spain midfielder Rodri told Teledeporte. “We had chances, but have to be more effective.
“(There are) no doubts, none at all. We don’t want to start talking about doubts.
“Obviously in football the score counts, but there have been specific errors that have cost us. Here we all lose, it’s a collective effort.”
Third-placed Norway drew 1-1 away to Georgia, who were playing their opener, in Tuesday’s other Group A game, with both teams on one point ahead of Cyprus who have no points.
Belgium beat Germany to pile pressure on Euro 2024 hosts
Visitors Belgium battled to a 3-2 win over Germany in a friendly on Tuesday to make it two wins from two matches in the past four days while piling pressure on the embattled Euro 2024 hosts.
With both teams eager to bounce back from their shock group stage World Cup exits in December, it was Belgium who were the better side, earning their first victory over the Germans since 1954.
The Germans were completely outclassed in the first half, as Belgium attacked at will.
They took the lead with a superb five-pass move from deep in their own half as Yannick Carrasco, unmarked and with lots of space on the left, rifled home in the sixth minute.
Before the hosts had any time to recover, Belgium struck again after some more woeful German defending, with Kevin De Bruyne slipping the ball through to Romelu Lukaku to finish from inside the box.
The Belgium striker had also scored a hat-trick in their 3-0 win over Sweden in their opening Group F Euro 2024 qualifier on Friday and he could have added another goal in the 20th when he rattled the bar with a powerful header.
The Germans, who beat Peru 2-0 on Saturday in their first international since their World Cup exit in Qatar, earned a penalty on the stroke of halftime and forward Niclas Fuellkrug converted for his sixth goal in six international matches.
Despite a livelier second half, the hosts conceded a third as De Bruyne finished from another swift Belgium move as the German defence was caught napping once more.
Serge Gnabry cut the deficit in the 88th minute but it was not enough to deny new Belgium coach Domenico Tedesco a second win from two matches.
“We were far too passive and did not put them under any pressure,” said Germany coach Hansi Flick. “Belgium used this mercilessly. We had to change things around a bit to find stability.”
“You could see that we have a lot of work in front of us. We want to be more active and we did it better after about 30 minutes. For us, with an eye on the future, that’s where we have to work on. For everyone to work together.”
Morocco held to goalless draw by Peru in Madrid
World Cup semi-finalists Morocco were held to a 0-0 draw by Peru in a friendly at Atletico Madrid’s Metropolitano Stadium on Tuesday.
The stalemate came after Morocco beat Brazil 2-1 in a friendly in Tangier on Saturday in their first game after their heroics at the World Cup in Qatar, where they became the first African and Arab country to reach the final four.
It was a contest played at a furious pace, with Morocco constantly on the attack and Peru looking for chances on the counter, but spoilt by frequent stoppages.
Hakim Ziyech went closest for Morocco with two good first-half chances and another 15 minutes from fulltime, which shaved the outside of the post.
The match was preceded by a clash between Spanish police and Peru players at the squad’s hotel in Madrid on Monday after fans gathered outside to greet the team, according to players and video shared on social media.
The altercation broke out when hundreds of fans approached the team’s hotel after the squad had wrapped up a training session. In videos shared widely on social media, midfielder Yoshimar Yotun can be seen arguing with a policeman who then pushed him. Other players and police then became involved.
Also on Monday, a 27-year-old worker at a Madrid hotel hosting the Morocco team was arrested for an alleged hate crime after posting derogatory comments on Islam and racist slurs against the players on social media.
A waiter at the Spanish capital’s five-star Eurostars Hotel Tower asked players to take photographs with him. He then uploaded the images to Instagram with xenophobic insults and tagged the Moroccan team’s account, with the post quickly receiving over 70,000 views.
The man was due to appear before a judge shortly, police said.
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