Euro 2024: Scotland boss Steve Clarke urges fans to 'keep the faith' after Germany thrashing in Munich

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Scotland boss Steve Clarke has urged the Tartan Army to “keep the faith” after a 5-1 thrashing by hosts Germany on the opening night of Euro 2024. It was a damaging night for the Scots hopes of progressing from the group stages for the first time at the tournament.

The Scottish fans were in fine voice before kick-off but it only took the hosts 10 minutes before Bayer Leverkusen’s Florian Wirtz opened the scoring. Former England U21 international Jamal Musiala added a second just nine minutes later.

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A tough task to get back into the game became even harder when Watford defender Ryan Porteous was deservedly shown a red card for a reckless tackle on Ilkay Gundogan in his own box. Arsenal’s Kai Havertz converted from the spot to make it 3-0 just before the half.

Being down to 10 men made a difficult task near impossible and Germany substitute Niclas Fullkrug made it 4-0 in the 68th minute with a magnificent drive. Although Germany defender Antonio Rudiger headed into his own net in 87 minutes, substitute Emre Can made it 5-1 with a clever finish in added time.

Scotland's head coach Steve Clarke (R) Scotland's head coach Steve Clarke (R)
Scotland's head coach Steve Clarke (R) | Getty Images

Despite the deflating start to the tournament, Scotland’s destiny is still in their own hands with games against Switzerland and Hungary left in Group A. Three teams could progress to the knock-out stages from the group.

Asked about a message to the thousands of fans who had travelled to Munich and those supporting from home, Clarke said: “Keep the faith. See you at the next game. The game ran away from us very quickly, obviously we conceded a third and with the sending off as well it was always going to be a difficult night and after that it was damage limitation.

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“In the second half the boys gave everything they could to keep the scoreline reasonable but we have to move on from tonight. We will go away and analyse the game. I have never doubted my players. It was a difficult night and we didn’t play to our standard. Germany were excellent and we couldn’t get a foothold in the game.

“The players were disappointed, they felt they let themselves down, they are a better team than that and hopefully we can show that in the next two games. This was always going to be a tough night for us to get something. We need four points from the next two games and that’s what we focus on.”

Germany manager Julian Nagelsmann told ITV of his surprise in Scotland’s performance. He said: “I’m happy, I’m satisfied, it’s not easy to have the first game in our own country.

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“We were brilliant in the first 20 minutes, I was happy with the performance. We conceded but at the end it’s OK, it’s a good sign that our players complained about conceding. I was kind of surprised that Scotland weren’t that aggressive in first 20 minutes. I think they were surprised by our ball possession, it was very concentrated. They then defended deeper and didn’t high press as they have in the qualifying games at times.”

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