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Scotland reach Euro 2020: ‘What a lift for the country’

From Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson to Martin Compston, the celebrations have been in full swing.

Scotland reach Euro 2020: ‘What a lift for the country’ SNS Group
Winners: Scotland celebrating the victory.

The celebrations are in full swing after Scotland beat Serbia on penalties to qualify for their first major men’s tournament in 22 years.

Scotland had to do it the hard way after throwing away a 1-0 lead in the last minute of normal time, before surviving a nervous 30-minute period of extra time.

But with five out of five Scottish spot-kicks converted, their place at next summer’s coronavirus-delayed Euro 2020 was secured when goalkeeper David Marshall saved Serbia’s final effort.

Scotland haven’t been at a tournament since the World Cup in France in 1998 and the long-awaited outpouring of emotion was spectacular.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was amongst those leading the celebrations, which largely took place on social media due to current Covid-19 restrictions.

When the victory was secured, she tweeted “deep breaths everyone” before posting a video of herself celebrating during last year’s general election.

She then wrote: “Massive congratulations to Steve Clarke and the team. After 22 years, Scotland men are off to a major tournament. What a lift for the country. Well done!”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also offered his congratulations, saying: “So great to see Scotland going forward to the Euros. Massive well done to the whole team.”

In Belgrade, the players were letting their hair down, with a number of squad members posting behind-the-scenes videos and pictures as the party got started.

Scotland captain and Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson said: “Struggling to find the words right now, but I hope there is five million people smiling back home right now!

“The lads gave absolutely everything tonight, I could not be prouder of every single one of them! Oh and…… WE ARE GOING TO THE EUROS.”

Aston Villa star John McGinn, who started the game in Belgrade, posted a Gif with his face superimposed onto William Wallace in a scene from Braveheart.

Famous faces from entertainment were also in a celebratory mood. Actor Martin Compston posted a video showing himself drinking champagne and singing Flower of Scotland with the Line of Duty cast.

Scotland will now play England, Croatia and Czech Republic in the European Championships next summer.

Two of Scotland’s games will be at Hampden with the other at Wembley in London.

England boss Gareth Southgate said it would be a “great occasion” and hoped fans would be allowed into stadiums by next summer.

After his side beat the Republic of Ireland 3-0 in a friendly, he said: “We all know what those sort of occasions are like. We just hope the fans are there to see it.

“I would like to congratulate Steve Clarke and his squad and it will be a great occasion and my hope is that we will have a full house at Wembley to see it.

“It’s been such a difficult time for everyone in the country and I just hope it will give everyone something to look forward to because these games are great occasions.”