Scotland had a golden opportunity to clinch a spot in the Euro 2024 tournament on Thursday, but they were defeated by two late goals in Spain, while the other competitor in Group A, Norway, came away with a 4-0 victory in Cyprus.
Elsewhere, Turkey, in their first game under Vincenzo Montella, won in Croatia to climb to the top of Group D, and Albania strengthened their grip on Group E with a convincing win over the Czech Republic. Both of these victories allowed them to extend their lead in their respective groups.
Prior to their meeting on Thursday in Seville, Scotland had won all five of their group games and needed only one point from their remaining three fixtures in order to qualify.
Although Spain exerted pressure in the first half, Scotland was the team that managed to get the ball into the back of the net first when Scott McTominay lofted a second-half free kick over Unai Simon.
After a review by the video assistant referee, the goal was ruled to be invalid because Jack Hendry committed an infraction within the goal mouth.
John McGinn, who was from Scotland, had a bad attitude.
“Is he going to be able to rescue it? “There is absolutely no chance,” the Aston Villa midfielder remarked. “There is not a single custodian in the world who can save that. However, at one point he stated that it was a foul, but then realised that it wasn’t a foul, so he changed it to “offside.”
After 73 minutes, Alvaro Morata put Spain ahead by converting a cross from Jesus Navas. Ten minutes later, Oihan Sancet, who had come in for his international debut after 67 minutes, put the finishing touches to Spain’s 25th straight home victory in European Championship qualifying.
Rodri, who plays in the middle for Spain, remarked that their greatest strength was patience. “With the minutes going by and the tiredness, space appeared.”
Erling Haaland scored goals number five and six during the qualifying campaign while they were playing in Larnaca. In Norway’s 4-0 victory over Cyprus, goals were also scored by Alexander Sorloth and Fredrik Aursnes.
Spain remained in second place in the group, trailing Scotland by three points and Norway by two, having a game in hand on both of these opponents.
After thirty minutes of play in Montella’s debut, Baris Alper Yilmaz chipped the ball home from a long range after drawing the attention of the host team’s custodian, Dominik Livakovic, outside of his area.
In Osijek, both teams had more opportunities to win the game.
The custodian for Turkey, Ugurcan Cakir, and the offside flag kept Croatia from scoring in the last moments of Turkey’s 1-0 victory over Croatia.
According to Zlatko Dalic, the coach of Croatia, “Turkey deserved this win.” “We were a disgrace. From the very beginning, we made a lot of blunders. Because we were unable to find our rhythm, we were deserving of our defeat.
Turkey is now in first place in Group D, three points ahead of Croatia in the standings.
After defeating the Czech Republic in Tirana by a score of 3-0, Albania maintained their lead in Group E.
The host team was able to withstand some early pressure and capitalise on mistakes made by the Czech squad, which played the first half of the game with only 10 players.
In a move that was counter to what was happening on the pitch, Jasir Asani gave Albania the lead in the ninth minute.
Mojmir Chytil, a striker for the Czech Republic, was shown a second yellow card and sent off in the fortieth minute of the match. Taulant Seferi scored twice in the second half.
In the Faroe Islands, Poland triumphed 2-0 thanks to goals from Sebastian Szymanski and Adam Buksa. With the win, Poland moved up to second place in the group, four points behind Albania but one point ahead of the Czech Republic and Moldova.