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Great Scots stun Spain to leave Rodri raging at 'rubbish' rival

Updated: 2023-03-30 09:34
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Scott McTominay celebrates scoring his and Scotland's second goal with Kieran Tierney during Tuesday's shock 2-0 victory over Spain at Hampden Park in Glasgow. ACTION IMAGES/REUTERS

GLASGOW, Scotland — Scott McTominay scored twice as Scotland claimed a famous 2-0 victory over Spain at Hampden Park in Euro 2024 qualifying on Tuesday, while Croatia won in Turkiye.

Steve Clarke's Scotland won its opening match in Group A 3-0 against Cyprus on Saturday but eclipsed that result with a stunning performance against three-time European champion Spain.

It was the Scots' first victory over Spain since 1984 and probably their best result since beating France in 2007.

"The manager said before getting on the bus for the stadium: 'This is your chance to create a legacy as a Scotland player'," said McTominay.

"These are the sorts of nights in 20-30 years you remember as a player. When you watch back the game you say I was there. It's what the game is about."

Manchester United midfielder McTominay gave the host a dream start by slotting home Andy Robertson's cutback in the seventh minute.

Ryan Christie went close to a second before Joselu, who scored twice on his debut against Norway at the weekend, hit the crossbar for Spain.

Lyndon Dykes missed a golden chance to double the Scots' advantage in first-half added time.

McTominay made no such mistake six minutes after the restart, drilling home a left-foot volley after good work from Kieran Tierney.

Spain piled on late pressure but Scotland held on to the delight of a raucous crowd in Glasgow.

The loss is a serious early setback for new Spain coach Luis de la Fuente, who took over from Luis Enrique following the team's World Cup last-16 exit to Morocco.

Venting his frustration after the final whistle, Spain midfielder Rodri took aim at Scotland's style of play.

"We did many good things to win," Manchester City's Rodri told Viaplay. "We conceded easy goals — this is football, if you concede easy goals you are penalized.

"It's the way they play, but for me it's rubbish, always wasting time, provoking you, always they fall. For me, this is not football. The referee has to take this on, but he says nothing."

Scotland is top of a difficult Group A that also includes Erling Haaland's Norway and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia's Georgia.

The Georgians played out a 1-1 draw with Norway in the other Group A game in Batumi.

The Scandinavians took the lead through Alexander Sorloth, playing in place of the injured Haaland, in the 15th minute.

But Metz forward Georges Mikautadze equalized on the hour mark to ensure Georgia did not start its bid to qualify for a first major tournament with a defeat.

"It would have been worse if we had stood here and not created chances. We had some incredible chances today. That's life," said Norway coach Stale Solbakken.

Croatia's kick-start

World Cup semifinalist Croatia eased to an impressive 2-0 win in Turkiye to kick-start its Group D campaign after an opening draw with Wales.

Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic netted a first-half double with both goals coming from Mario Pasalic assists.

Croatia is level on four points with Wales after Rob Page's side beat Latvia 1-0 for its first win since the retirement of Gareth Bale.

Striker Kieffer Moore headed home the winner for a dominant Wales in the 41st minute.

Switzerland made it two wins from two games in Group I with a comfortable 3-0 success against Israel.

Goals from Ruben Vargas, Zeki Amdouni and Silvan Widmer helped the Swiss follow up a 5-0 thrashing of Belarus in style.

Romania also boasts a 100 percent record in the group after edging out Belarus 2-1, while Kosovo has two points from as many matches after a 1-1 draw with Andorra.


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