Scotland out of Euro 2020 after losing to Croatia

Steve Clarke's side finish bottom of Group D following a 3-1 defeat at Hampden.

Scotland out of Euro 2020 after losing to Croatia SNS Group

Scotland have been knocked out of Euro 2020 after a 3-1 defeat to Croatia at Hampden.

Second-half goals from Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic crushed hopes raised by Callum McGregor’s first-half equaliser.

The defeat sees Scotland finish bottom of Group D with just one point from their three games. 

McGregor gave the Tartan Army a brief bit of joy with their only goal of the tournament – and their first at a major competition since 1998 – just before half-time.

Callum McGregor celebrates his equaliser.SNS Group

The Celtic man’s strike cancelled out Nikola Vlasic’s early opener, but Steve Clarke’s men were left chasing the tidy Croats for much of the 90 minutes. 

A superb strike from Modric put Croatia back in front, before Perisic put the game well beyond Scotland with a glancing header from a corner. 

Scotland kicked off amid explosive noise from the 12,000 fans inside Hampden and won two corners in the opening minute without posing the Croatian keeper much trouble.

Che Adams nearly got on the end of a John McGinn cross after five minutes as Scotland put Croatia under early pressure. 

Stuart Armstrong gives chase.SNS Group

Adams’ long-range effort then had keeper Dominik Livakovic scrambling, before Croatia opened the scoring after 15 minutes.

Vlasic found space inside the box after collecting the ball from a Perisic header to fire a low shot past David Marshall.

Croatia’s main man Modric then tried his luck from well outside the box, but his shot went over the bar.

Scotland came close to equalising ten minutes later through Adams, before McGinn’s side-footed shot from inside the box was saved.

Defender Grant Hanley was forced off through injury on the 30-minute mark, and was replaced by Nottingham Forest centre-back Scott McKenna, who immediately got his name taken by the referee.

A mistimed tackle on Bruno Petkovic saw him pick up a yellow card before he’d even touched the ball.

Che Adams nearly got himself on the end of an early cross.SNS Group

Croatia continued to cause problems for the Scotland defence and came close to doubling their lead again when Mateo Kovacic and Perisic both shot over the bar during a dominant spell of possession. 

But just as it seemed to be slipping away from Scotland, they equalised against the run of play as Callum McGregor guided a right-footed shot home from 20 yards, raising the Hampden roof before half-time.

Croatia created the first chance of the second half, but Marshall beat left-back Josko Gvardiol to a through ball.

Both men received treatment after the clash, but were back on their feet soon and Marshall came to Scotland’s rescue again with a point-blank save from Perisic. 

Scotland pushed forward and came close to an equaliser when McGinn prodded Andy Robertson’s cross towards goal.

But it was the former world player of the year Modric who took centre stage just after the hour.

The Real Madrid star curled an outside-of-the-boot shot into the top corner from 20 yards, leaving Scotland with a mountain to climb.

And it proved too steep, with Perisic having the final say, securing a place in the last 16 with a header from a corner.

Scotland: Marshall, O’Donnell (Paterson), McTominay, Hanley (McKenna), Tierney, Robertson, Armstrong (Fraser), McGregor, McGinn, Adams (Nesbit), Dykes

Croatia: Livakovic, Juranovic, Lovren, Vida, Gvardiol (Barasic), Kovacic, Brozovic, Perisic (Rebic), Modric, Vlasic (Ivanusec), Petkovic (Kramaric)

Attendance: 12,000

Referee: Fernando Rappalini (Argentina)

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