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Scotland’s Euro 2024 hopes still alive after draw with Switzerland

Billy Gilmour of Scotland applauds the fans
Billy Gilmour salutes Scotland's fans - Getty Images/Richard Sellers

Amid the fierce pride and acute anxiety among the travelling Scotland support at a draw that keeps the nation’s hopes in the European Championship alive, it was once again Scott McTominay who came to the rescue of his country.

The Lancashire-born Manchester United boy of Scottish heritage – a father from Helensburgh – scored more goals in the qualification for this tournament than Erling Haaland did for Norway. In Cologne, with humiliation lurking just at Scotland’s shoulder, so it was McTominay who once again supplied the goal that made the difference. It is not always simple to discern a great fluency to Scotland’s approach but McTominay has experience of playing for these kinds of stakes.

The 27-year-old was earning his 51st cap, after seven goals in qualifying, including both in the historic 2-0 win over Spain at Hampden, and the matchwinner away to Cyprus. His first-half goal, at the end of Scotland’s best move, took a heavy touch off the Newcastle United defender Fabian Schar on its way in but was decreed a McTominay goal by Uefa.

Schar's touch takes the ball into his own net
Schar deflects McTominay's shot past Sommer - REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

It means that eight of McTominay’s nine goals for Scotland have been scored either in qualifying for Euro 2024 or at the tournament itself. With Liverpool’s Andy Robertson, the captain and driving force for the goal, as well as Aston Villa’s John McGinn and the reinstated Billy Gilmour, of Brighton, this core of the team was crucial in the decisive moments. Grant Hanley had a fine game in the centre of defence, a replacement for the suspended Ryan Porteous, and with some determination, Scotland powered through to the draw.

They face Hungary on Sunday in Stuttgarta team who have been defeated twice – where a win will give them four points. As well as second place in Group A, there are four knockout places available for the best third-place teams should Scotland fail to overhaul the Swiss. Switzerland would need a point at least against the hosts Germany to secure second place.

Another Premier League player, Kieran Tierney, contracted to Arsenal but on loan at Real Sociedad last season – now surplus to Mikel Arteta’s requirements – looked to have been badly injured in the second half and is certainly out of Sunday’s game. Like Tierney, McTominay also faces a summer where he knows his club will listen to offers for him.

Kieran Tierney
Kieran Tierney seemed to have popped his hamstring - Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

United would have sold McTominay last summer had an acceptable offer been made. It will be the same in this window with a single year remaining on his current deal and an option to extend that until 2026. In this Scotland team McTominay is invaluable. At United they are not always successful in controlling possession either, but for his country, McTominay is obliged to disrupt and fight as a matter of course.

“This is how we play and how we work,” said manager Steve Clarke. “As well as the aggression and the fight and that dirty side of the game.” It will be the same exhausting process on Sunday. There was 47 per cent possession for Scotland against Switzerland and no quantum of it came easy.

Scotland’s performance against Germany on Friday had brought quite some pressure to bear. Clarke had said that he had always intended to play Gilmour in this game and pointed out that the midfielder had tired towards the end. Indeed, it was very different with the Scots on top at the end. While they did not create many chances, they did at least generate some momentum.

McTominay told the BBC: “In the second half, I thought we were good in terms of how we managed the game and how we pressed them high all night. I think that meant it made a big difference in comparison to the Germany game.”

Hanley sent a header soundly against the post in the second half when the defender chose to put his face in where others stuck their boots. Never did Scotland manage a move as good as the one in the 12th minute from which they scored.

Grant Hanley's header
Hanley hits the post - Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

That left side is Scotland’s best attacking asset and the players were cognisant that if they could not cover the ground to get to Che Adams in attack when they won the ball, then they were not likely to do much with it at all. It began when Scotland were defending a corner and caught Switzerland out of shape.

Robertson broke out and his pace and cussedness meant that he carried it all the way to the byline. From Callum McGregor it went to McTominay in a free pocket just inside the area. Good awareness of opportunity from the midfielder, although this was not his best finish. It was deflected past the goalkeeper Yann Sommer by Schar’s touch.

The equaliser was a marvellous piece of skill from Xherdan Shaqiri, that little square of a winger, who now has the unique distinction of being the only man to score at all of the last three European championships and World Cup finals.

Shaqiri is just three caps behind his old friend Granit Xhaka, Switzerland’s record appearance maker. The former is now playing in Major League Soccer for Chicago Fire but he can still seize a chance. One loose touch from the right-sided wing-back Anthony Ralston and Shaqiri took it first time. Shaped with his left foot from the edge of the area into the top corner of Angus Gunn’s goal.

Shaqiri lets fly
Shaqiri shoots … - Bradley Collyer/PA Wire
Xherdan Shaqiri scores
… and fires the ball unstoppably past Gunn - Marcel ter Bals/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

The Bologna striker Dan Ndoye and the substitute Breel Embolo would each have the ball in the Scotland goal, and both times VAR would judge the offside flag to have been correct. Nevertheless, this was a solid Scottish performance and they will need something even better on Sunday.


Scots draw with Swiss: As it happened


10:31 PM BST

Steve Clarke’s verdict

It was nice to see us turn up. We’re a good team when we play. The team have always shown resilience – we had to write Friday off as a really bad night. Tonight we were determined to press them early so we moved two of the players a little bit higher up the field. It worked against what I have to say is a very good Switzerland team.

[On the equaliser] It’s a heartbreaking moment [for Anthony Ralston] but it happens in football. It was a misplaced pass, and if it fell to anyone else in the Swiss team I don’t think they’d have scored. We got punished for a small mistake.

[On preparations for Sunday] That’s why we went to Garmisch-Partenkirchen because they’ve got fantastic facilities there. They’ve got a lovely river running through it, with the glacial melt coming off the mountains, so we might just sit in the river for a couple of days!

When the draw was made we knew the first game would be difficult. We didn’t think it would be so difficult but we always knew the points we required would potentially come from the last two games. I believe if we get three points we’ll go through to the next stage.

Kieran Tierney is definitely out of Sunday’s game. It looks pretty bad. You have to feel for him, but somebody else will have to step up to the mark.


10:18 PM BST

Scotland keeper Angus Gunn speaks

Everything we did was ten times better than on Friday night. It was much more like us. When we play with intensity you can see how much of a lift it gives the players and the fans. That was what we needed at the start of the game.

Personally I was hurting after Friday night. I didn’t feel like I’d done myself justice. That was the motivation for tonight, to show what we’re about, and we did that.

We wanted to go into the last game having something to play for. Hopefully we can pull off another big result.


10:15 PM BST

The state of play in Group A

Germany P2 Pts6 (GD+6)

Switzerland P2 Pts4 (GD+2)

Scotland P2 Pts1 (GD-4)

Hungary P2 Pts0 (GD-4)

In short, Scotland are highly likely to go through as one of the best third-place teams if they beat Hungary. A draw could be enough, though their poor goal difference makes that a long shot.


10:11 PM BST

The player of the match is Manuel Akanji

Interesting. I might have given it to Angus Gunn.

Manuel Akanji poses with his player of the match award.
Manuel Akanji poses with his player of the match award. - Harriet Lander/Uefa

10:07 PM BST

Billy Gilmour’s reaction

We gave everything out there and the result puts us in a good place. The first game was tough against a top team but that was more like a Scotland performance. We believed in ourselves going into this game. Maybe we were a bit nervous in the opening game but tonight we got after the ball, we were passionate; everything was there.


10:04 PM BST

The view from Cologne


10:03 PM BST

Andy Robertson’s verdict

That was much more like us: aggressive, on the front foot. We got off to a better start and then we made a mistake – but let’s make no mistake about it, Tony Ralston was unbelievable after that mistake. Not many people could come back from such a difficult moment, but in the second half he was different class – fair play to him.

We had our chances, but so did they. It was an open game: two really good teams going at it. We’re a lot happier with that performance. We’ve taken it into the last game and that’s all we can ask.

It was a lot more like us and I think the people behind the goal were a lot happier. We left everything out there and that’s what it takes to play for your country. We need to get to our beds and then recover tomorrow – what day are we even on, Wednesday – and get back on the training pitch on Friday.


09:53 PM BST

FT: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

Scotland are still alive in the European Championship after an honourable draw on a tense night in Cologne. The match could have gone either way, with Grant Hanley hitting the post and Zeki Amdouni missing a late sitter for Switzerland, but the result is palatable for both sides.

Switzerland are almost certainly through to the last 16, where they are likely to face Spain or Italy. Scotland should join them if they beat Hungary on Sunday. A draw in that game might even be enough, though it’s too early for a permutations orgy.

Scotland captain Andy Robertson embraces his former Liverpool team-mate Xherdan Shaqiri at the final whistle.
Scotland captain Andy Robertson embraces his former Liverpool team-mate Xherdan Shaqiri at the final whistle. - Andrew Milligan/PA

09:51 PM BST

90+2 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

Great defending by Akanji! McGregor’s clever pass over the defence is headed back into the six-yard box by Robertson, and Akanki just gets in front of McTominay to hook the ball clear. That almost certainly saved a goal.

Manuel Akanji's superb clearance denies Scott McTominay a winning goal.
Manuel Akanji's superb clearance denies Scott McTominay a winning goal. - Andreea Alexandru/AP

09:50 PM BST

90+1 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

Double substitution for Scotland Ryan Christie and Lawrence Shankland come on for McGinn and Adams. There will be four minutes of added time.


09:49 PM BST

90 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

Great chance for Switzerland! Robertson is hopelessly late on Rieder, which gives Switzerland a free-kick on the right wing. A goal now would shatter Scotland - and Amdouni should have won the game!

Rieder curled a beautiful inswinging free-kick to the far post, where Amdouni got away from the defender and planted a header just wide from about eight yards. What a chance!


09:46 PM BST

87 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

McGinn’s excellent cross is headed away really well by a Switzerland defender, under a lot of pressure at the far post, and then McLean’s low shot from 20 yards is easily held by Sommer.


09:45 PM BST

86 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

The substitute Sierro is booked for a foul on Adams. And then Switzerland bring on two more subs: Leonidas Stergiou and Zeki Amdouni for Dan Ndoye and Silvan Widmer.


09:42 PM BST

83 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

Disallowed goal! Embolo scoots through on goal and calmly chips Gunn, but he looked offside and the technology confirmed as much. It was closer than it looked though.

Breel Embolo chips Angus Gunn.
Breel Embolo chips Angus Gunn. - KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP

09:40 PM BST

81 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

Ralston hooks an early cross towards McTominay, whose acrobatic volley flattens a Swiss defender on the six-yard line. That may well have been going in.


09:38 PM BST

79 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

Scotland substitution Kenny McLean replaces Billy Gilmour, and Uefa have officially given Scotland’s goal to Scott McTominay. Now we can all sleep soundly.

Billy Gilmour applauds the Scotland fans after being substituted.
Billy Gilmour applauds the Scotland fans after being substituted. - Andrew Milligan/PA

09:38 PM BST

79 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

Scotland have successfully turned this into a really bitty, fragmented game. Switzerland can’t get into their flow at all. We’ve hardly seen Granit Xhaka on the ball since half-time. This sort of game suits Scotland, who are a big threat on set-pieces. They don’t want to be chasing the ball for the next 15 minutes.


09:37 PM BST

78 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

Ndoye zips away from Ralston, into the area, but shoots high and wide from a tight angle.

Meanwhile, here’s the moment when Grant Hanley headed against the post.


09:35 PM BST

76 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

McTominay’s corner is hooked back across goal by Adams. Gilmour goes down holding his head after an aerial challenge with Widmer, but there are on appeals for a penalty and he’s soon on his feet.


09:33 PM BST

75 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

Double substitution for Switzerland Fabian Rieder and Vincent Sierro replace Remo Freuler and Ruben Vargas.


09:32 PM BST

73 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

Now it’s Scotland who are on top. Both teams have a stick-or-twist dilemma, Scotland in particular. Lose tonight and they are almost certainly out. Win tonight and they will be closer than ever before to the knockout stages of the Euros.


09:30 PM BST

71 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

McGinn is booked for a nothing challenge on Schar, who cleared the ball down the line and then collided with McGinn.

John McGinn is not impressed.
John McGinn is not impressed. - Andrew Milligan/PA

09:29 PM BST

70 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

That looked like it could be a really serious injury for Kieran Tierney. He was immediately flagging to the bench that he needed treatment, and was then carried off the pitch on a stretcher holding his face.

Tierney’s luck with injuries really has been awful. If this one is as bad as it looked, it could have a big impact on his club future. The expectation is that he will leave Arsenal this summer, either on loan or permanently. Perhaps that won’t be possible now.


09:27 PM BST

68 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

McKenna is booked after a wrestling match with Embolo.


09:26 PM BST

67 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

Hanley hits the post! Gilmour has a shot blocked by Akanji, who then fouls McTominay just outside the area on the right. Robertson’s fast, flats free-kick is met by Hanley, who stoops in front of Schar’s flailing boot and thumps a header off the post!

That was so close. He did really well to get to the ball in front of Schar; having done so, he may feel he should have scored.

Grant Hanley heads against the post
Grant Hanley heads against the post - ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP

09:23 PM BST

64 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

Vargas sprays high and wide after cutting inside Ralston on the left side of the area. Switzerland have stealthily taken control of the game, as they did in the first half.


09:20 PM BST

60 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

A substitution apiece Poor Kieran Tierney is being taken off on a stretcher, to be replaced by Scott McKenna. He jarred his leg while trying to challenge Ndoye as he ran through on goal, and I fear his tournament is over.

Switzerland bring on Breel Embolo for the goalscorer Xherdan Shaqiri.

Kieran Tierney's tournament may be over.
Kieran Tierney's tournament may be over. - Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters

09:19 PM BST

58 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

Terrific save by Gunn! There’s one for the highlights. A bouncing ball forward is controlled by Ndoye, who rolls Tierney expertly on the edge of the area and tries to give Gunn the eyes before whipping a shot into the bottom corner. The ball flashes just wide of the left-hand post and replays confirm a crucial touch from Gunn.


09:15 PM BST

56 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

Vargas’s well-struck shot from the left edge of the area is comfortably held by Gunn. He’s definitely had more to do than Sommer, although only one of his saves has been highlights-worthy.


09:14 PM BST

55 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

This result would be pretty good for both sides, which explains a relatively cagey start to the second half. If a winner comes, great, but don’t go staking the farm on it.


09:12 PM BST

52 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

This is a good spell for Scotland, with Robertson to the fore on the left. As Sam Dean said at half-time, so much of Scotland’s attacking play goes down that side.

Andy Robertson surges down the left
Andy Robertson surges down the left - FRIEDEMANN VOGEL/Shutterstock

09:10 PM BST

51 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

McTominay is bemused to be given a yellow card for dissent. The referee stopped play because Akanji feel awkwardly in the area, a judgement with which McTominay did not entirely concur.

Manuel Akanji falls awkwardly in the Switzerland area.
Manuel Akanji falls awkwardly in the Switzerland area. - KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP

09:09 PM BST

Whose goal is it anyway?

Uefa are still crediting Fabian Schar with an own goal to put Scotland ahead. Opta have given it to Scott McTominay, as per our scoreboard.

The case for McTominay is that his shot was clearly on target and that’s usually enough for a player to be credited with a goal. The case against is that Yann Sommer would have saved his shot without Schar’s touch.


09:05 PM BST

47 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

Couple of early corners for Switzerland, and they would have had a third but for a pesky offside flag.


09:03 PM BST

46 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

Switzerland begin the second half. You might even describe this as a big 45 minutes for Scotland.


09:03 PM BST

Xherdan Shaqiri strikes again

That’s an impressive list of players below Shaqiri - if a it harsh on Eusebio, who played in only one major tournament.


08:53 PM BST

A much improved performance from Scotland

Scotland are not the better football team here but they are giving it a proper go. They are pressing more aggressively, defending higher up the pitch and causing problems when they stretch the Switzerland defence. In other words, they are playing significantly better than they did against Germany.

The problem area is the defence, as evidenced by Shaqiri’s goal. Scotland’s midfielders want the ball to feet but can the same always be said for their defenders, especially those on the right side? The build-up is all a little one-sided. Perhaps that is what you would expect, given the quality of Tierney and Robertson on that left flank.

There are more chances in this game for Scotland. They are in this. But they need to be careful.


08:49 PM BST

HT: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

A lively first half in Cologne, at the end of which it’s hard to know whether Scotland’s glass is half full or half empty.

They made a fast start and took the lead when Scott McTominay’s shot was deflected into his own net by Fabian Schar. Switzerland started to stir and equalised when Xherdan Shaqiri punished Anthony Ralston’s error with a spectacular goal.

Angus Gunn was the busiest keeper thereafter, making one decent save and another extremely good one. Dan Ndoye also has a goal disallowed for offside. But Scotland retained their composure and were more comfortable as half-time approached.

Switzerland celebrate Xherdan Shaqiri's equaliser.
Switzerland celebrate Xherdan Shaqiri's equaliser. - Martin Meissner/AP

08:46 PM BST

45 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

Three minutes of added time.


08:43 PM BST

42 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

A decent save from Gunn, who falls to his left to push away Xhaka’s first-time shot from the edge of the area. It was a more comfortable save than the earlier one, though he still had to get his knees dirty.


08:42 PM BST

41 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

McTominay’s deep corner from the left is met by Adams, who stretches to volley back across goal from a very tight angle. Sommer keeps it out at the near post.

Che Adams is denied by Yann Sommer.
Che Adams is denied by Yann Sommer. - KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP

08:41 PM BST

40 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

Scotland are having their best spell of possession since McTominay’s goal, perhaps in the whole game. No penetration to speak of but they have at least calmed things down after a fraught 10 minutes.


08:39 PM BST

39 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

... and now they’re running back, because somebody was caught offside from the free-kick.


08:38 PM BST

38 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

Scotland would take this scoreline at half-time. They are given a bit of respite hen Freuler fouls Adams 25 yards from goal. It’s too wide for a shot but the big men are coming forward...


08:35 PM BST

35 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

There’s not much need to fear Xherdan Shaqiri when he’s out on the wing. There’s probably not much need to fear him when he’s in the penalty box, either.

But when that man is on the edge of the box, in that 20-25 yard range from goal, he is absolutely deadly. It’s a gorgeous strike from a player who has been scoring that sort of goal for his entire professional life.

Xherdan Shaqiri curls a stunning equaliser.
Xherdan Shaqiri curls a stunning equaliser. - Bradley Collyer/PA

08:34 PM BST

33 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

Disallowed goal for Switzerland! The resulting corner leads to a goal for Ndoye, who walks round Gunn to score, but he was fractionally offside when the ball was headed through to him.

Dan Ndoye's goal is disallowed for offside.
Dan Ndoye's goal is disallowed for offside. - Alex Grimm/Getty Images

08:33 PM BST

31 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

Terrific save by Gunn! Switzerland are really on top now. Ndoye feeds the ball into Vargas, who waits for Ndoye to run outside him and plays a cute reverse pass. Ndoye dummies a defender, comes back inside and forces a rising shot that is pushed round the post by the diving Gunn.


08:31 PM BST

31 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

Rodriguez is booked for a lunging tackle on Gilmour.

Ricardo Rodriguez catches Billy Gilmour.
Ricardo Rodriguez catches Billy Gilmour. - GEORGI LICOVSKI/Shutterstock

08:31 PM BST

Watch: Shaqiri punishes Ralston error


08:29 PM BST

29 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1

Chance for Widmer! Scotland are under the pump. A cross from the left finds its way through to Widmer on the far side, 18 yards out. He takes a touch and sprays over the bar.


08:26 PM BST

Goal!

26 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 1 (Shaqiri) A wonderful equaliser! Xherdan Shaqiri, playing tonight in his seventh major tournament, has punished a bad mistake from Anthony Ralston. He played a blind pass behind his fellow defenders and into no man’s land on the edge of the D. Shaqiri ran onto itand whipped a majestic first-time curler into the top corner.

Xherdan Shaqiri gives Angus Gunn no chance with a majestic equaliser.
Xherdan Shaqiri gives Angus Gunn no chance with a majestic equaliser. - Piroschka Van De Wouw/Reuters

08:25 PM BST

24 min Scotland 1 Switzerland 0

Switzerland are starting to control the midfield. I don’t think Scotland have consciously retreated, but it’s human nature to be a bit more cautious when you go 1-0 up in a game like this.


08:23 PM BST

22 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 0

By Sam Wallace in Cologne

The Cologne Stadium erupts as prolific Scottish goal source - opposition own goals - strikes again. That said, a great break led by Andy Robertson, and well supported by others coming from deep. Much better from the Scots compared to last Friday.


08:21 PM BST

20 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 0

There’s a break in play after a clash of heads in the Scotland area. The two players involved, Schar and Ralston, are okay.

Anthony Ralston and Fabian Schar receive treatment
Anthony Ralston and Fabian Schar receive treatment - Piroschka Van De Wouw/Reuters

08:19 PM BST

18 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 0

Quite difficult to do justice to the noise in here when that McTominay goal went in, so I won’t try. Let’s just say it was seriously loud.

I’d say that’s a deserved lead for Scotland, who have started so much more positively than they did against Germany. They are going for it, pushing up higher and counter-attacking with purpose.

There have been nervy moments at the back, though, and there will be plenty more to come in this game. But Scotland have something to defend and something to build from.


08:17 PM BST

16 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 0

A Switzerland corner is headed away to Rodriguez, who volleys well wide.

Apparently Uefa have said it was an own goal by Fabian Schar, which is a bit strange given the usual protocol: McTominay’s shot was unquestionably on target. That said, in the purest sense it was an own goal, because Scotland wouldn’t have scored had Schar not touched the ball.

Fabian Schar pokes the ball into his own net.
Fabian Schar pokes the ball into his own net. - CHRISTOPHER NEUNDORF/Shutterstock

08:16 PM BST

15 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 0

That’s Scotland’s sixth goal at a men’s European Championship. See if you can spot the link between the scorers: Paul McStay, Brian McClair, Gary McAllister, Ally McCoist, Callum McGregor and now Scott McTominay.


08:14 PM BST

Goal!

13 min: Scotland 1 Switzerland 0 (McTominay) The goal machine has struck again! Scott McTominay scored seven goals in qualification and now he’s got his first in the European Championship finals. It came on the break from that Switzerland corner. Gilmour’s lovely touch released Robertson, who ran 50 yards and found McGregor on the outside. He played it back to the edge of the area, where McTominay hit a first-time shot that was stabbed into the roof of his net by the stretching Schar.

Schar didn’t need to touch the ball, as Sommer would have saved it comfortably. But the shot was on target so it’s McTominay’s goal.


08:13 PM BST

13 min: Scotland 0 Switzerland 0

A loose backpass from Hendry goes behind for Switzerland’s first corner. Shaqiri takes it short, gets it back and arcs a good cross that is headed away by the backpedalling McTominay.


08:12 PM BST

11 min: Scotland 0 Switzerland 0

Swiss supporters send a simple message to their team.
Swiss supporters send a simple message to their team. - Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

08:10 PM BST

9 min: Scotland 0 Switzerland 0

Switzerland are slowly settling into the game. Widmer breaks down the right but then overruns the ball, allowing Hanley to usher the ball behind.

The last touch probably came off Hanley, though he was pushed by Widmer.


08:07 PM BST

7 min: Scotland 0 Switzerland 0

Steve Clarke will be pleased with Scotland’s start. They’ve been on the front foot and haven’t yet allowed Switzerland to get their passing game going.

Kieran Tierney pursues Switzerland's Dan Ndoye.
Kieran Tierney pursues Switzerland's Dan Ndoye. - Andrew Milligan/PA

08:06 PM BST

5 min: Scotland 0 Switzerland 0

The pre-match rendition of Flower of Scotland registered a healthy 7.2 on the Murrayfield1990ometer.


08:04 PM BST

4 min: Scotland 0 Switzerland 0

Robertson wins a second corner for Scotland. McTominay’s inswinger is held comfortably by Sommer.


08:03 PM BST

3 min: Scotland 0 Switzerland 0

McGinn wins the first corner for Scotland, who have made a fast start. McTominay takes and Freuler clears.


08:00 PM BST

1 min: Scotland 0 Switzerland 0

Scotland kick off from left to right as we watch. The atmosphere in Cologne is spectacular.

The Scotland team line up for the anthems.
The Scotland team line up for the anthems. - Piroschka Van De Wouw/Reuters

07:58 PM BST

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07:49 PM BST

The pre-match thoughts of Steve Clarke

It was always my intention to start Billy in this game. Apart from it being Friday to Wednesday rather than Saturday to Wednesday, the build-up has been the same: we do the same things, we work the same way and tonight hopefully you’ll see the real Scotland on the pitch. We have to play better than we did in the first game. We believe that if we play to the best of our ability we’ll get something from the game.


07:40 PM BST

Saviour syndrome not fair on Gilmour

Can Billy Gilmour save the day for Scotland? His omission from the lineup for the opening game was a huge shock, and a decision that backfired horribly. Scotland could not keep the ball, which meant their defence was under constant pressure. Evidently, the defence could not handle that pressure.

Andy Robertson has since said that he felt Scotland played with “fear” in Munich. Gilmour, at least, is never afraid to take the ball. Perhaps his positive attitude can prove infectious, even if it does feel a little cruel to expect him to single-handedly fix all of the problems that were so obvious against Germany.


07:37 PM BST

No Scotland = no party

Thousands of Scotland fans were enjoying themselves this afternoon below the third-tallest cathedral in the world.

Not a hint of trouble but not sure I’d describe the mood as particularly jolly either. Everyone I spoke to realised they probably need a draw tonight and as such the stakes are higher than the Germany game, which most had written off.

The drinking was steady and determined, the pink and yellow patterned 90s retro shirts are popular and it has been made abundantly clear that no Scotland = no party.

Scotland fans pose in front of Cologne Cathedral
Scotland fans pose in front of Cologne Cathedral - Andreea Alexandru/AP

07:31 PM BST

Billy’s back

No surprise to see Billy Gilmour, Scotland’s most European midfielder, recalled tonight. Sam Dean looks at what he will bring to the team.

At his best, Gilmour can relieve the pressure on his team by finding passing angles and showing for the ball in tricky moments. He has demonstrated that he can do it at the highest level, too: at the previous European Championship, Gilmour was the best player on the pitch in Scotland’s impressive draw with England.

Read more...

Billy Gilmour returns to the starting XI in place of Ryan Christie
Billy Gilmour returns to the starting XI in place of Ryan Christie - Ryan Pierse/Uefa

07:11 PM BST

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07:10 PM BST

Our man marches with the Tartan Army

I have just spent the past hour marching with the Tartan Army on their organised “fan walk” from a local station to the stadium here in Cologne. As a moderately proud Englishman, there were moments in which it proved quite challenging. The Scots certainly sing about the English more than the English sing about the Scots…

Much more importantly, though, is that the atmosphere and mood really was fantastic. I am sure there are some readers who roll their eyes at the glowing reviews the Scottish fans have received over the past week, but it genuinely is quite heartwarming to see the reaction they are getting from the local people in Munich and Cologne.

The people of Cologne were lining the streets to wave at the Scots, or they were leaning out of their windows to sing along. Some fans played catch with locals through the windows, and some were offered free beer along the way. (The more financially-minded locals were selling beer out of shopping trolleys.) Fans were hugging policemen and high-fiving children.

There was no edge, no hint of violence and no suggestion of any sort of damage to the local area, beyond the empty bottles lying on the pavements. It was the sort of peaceful but passionate occasion that endears these supporters to people of other countries and cultures. Good fun all round, I’d say. Although it did become rather hot. And, on a personal level, I imagine it would have been considerably more fun with a few beers and some mates to sing with.


07:07 PM BST

FT: Germany 2 Hungary 0

The hosts Germany are the first team to qualify for the last 16 after beating Hungary 2-0 this afternoon. That’s a good result for Scotland as it keeps Hungary on 0 points.

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Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann hugs Jamal Musiala, who scored his side's first goal
Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann hugs Jamal Musiala, who scored his side's first goal - Sebastian El-Saqqa /Getty Images

06:56 PM BST

Team news: Gilmour starts

Steve Clarke makes two changes from the opening nightmare against Germany: Grant Hanley replaces the suspended Ryan Porteous at the back and Billy Gilmour comes in for Ryan Christie.

Switzerland make one change: Xherdan Shaqiri replaces Kwadwo Duah, who scored the opening goal in their 3-1 win over Hungary.

Scotland (3-4-2-1) Gunn; Hendry, Hanley, Tierney; Ralston, Gilmour, McGregor, Robertson; McGinn, McTominay; Adams.
Substitutes: Kelly, Clark, Shankland, Christie, Cooper, Armstrong, Morgan, Conway, Jack, McCrorie, McLean, Taylor, Forrest, McKenna.

Switzerland (3-4-2-1) Sommer; Schar, Akanji, Rodriguez; Widmer, Freuler, Xhaka, Aebischer; Shaqiri, Vargas; Ndoye.
Substitutes: Mvogo, Kobel, Stergiou, Elvedi, Embolo, Okafor, Steffen, Zesiger, Sierro, Duah, Jashari, Amdouni, Rieder.

Referee Ivan Kruzliak (Slovakia).

Billy Gilmour starts in midfield for Scotland.
Billy Gilmour starts in midfield for Scotland. - Ryan Pierse/Uefa

06:47 PM BST

Will Clarke recall Billy Gilmour?

In the Premier League last season, only three midfielders who have played 15 matches or more had a better pass completion rate than Gilmour: Manchester City’s Mateo Kovacic and Rodri, and Brighton’s Carlos Baleba.

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06:28 PM BST

It’s not just Scotland adding colour to Cologne

Switzerland fans gather ahead of their vital game against Scotland
Switzerland fans gather ahead of their vital game against Scotland - Alex Grimm/Getty Images

06:20 PM BST

The Tartan Army hits Cologne


06:16 PM BST

Good evening

Scotland know their itinerary at a major tournament always includes a trip to the last-chance saloon. From the Netherlands in 1978 to Croatia in 2021, from glorious defiance to quiet despair, their notorious failure to reach the knockout stages has always involved a decisive game in which a particular result was non-negotiable.

They’re not quite at that stage yet, but they’re supping next door to the last-chance saloon and pints of Desperation are on special offer. Defeat to Switzerland tonight would leave Scotland needing multiple favours in other groups and victory over Hungary in their last game. If they win tonight, on the other hand, they’ll be one game away from history. The word ‘cut-throat’ doesn’t begin to do it justice.

It was always going to be like this. Defeat to Germany in the opening game was probable, even if few envisaged such a traumatic defeat. That result isn’t a problem in itself; the damage to morale – and goal difference – could make it a resounding victory in more ways than one.

“For us, the task is to regroup and go again,” says their manager Steve Clarke. “The players want to go back and play better and I think that is pretty standard when you play so poorly and let yourself down.”

Clarke has targeted four points from Scotland’s last two games, though that doesn’t mean they will be playing for a draw tonight. “To go into the game thinking you only need a point is dangerous. We go there to win, to be as positive as we can and we see where that takes us.

“I was very impressed with the Swiss (in their 3-1 win over Hungary). I thought they were excellent, really good in the first half and then controlled the second half well.

“It is a big challenge: a good team, a lot of good players, very strong down the spine of the team, defend well, don’t give too much away and have a lot of pace up front. So we expect a difficult night.”

Kick off is at 8pm and we’ll have team news shortly.

The bagpipes of Cologne.
The bagpipes of Cologne. - Thilo Schmuelgen/Reuters