England top group, Croatia send Scotland packing from Euro 2020

England, Croatia and Czech Republic qualify for Euro 2020 knockouts from Group D.

A 3-1 defeat to Croatia on Tuesday ended Scotland's hopes of progressing through to the knockouts [Lee Smith/Reuters]
A 3-1 defeat to Croatia on Tuesday ended Scotland's hopes of progressing through to the knockouts [Lee Smith/Reuters]

After a 23-year wait to appear at a major football tournament, Scotland’s Euro 2020 experience lasted just eight days.

A 3-1 defeat to Croatia on Tuesday ended Scotland’s hopes of progressing through to the knockouts.

The Tartan Army will fondly remember frustrating England in a 0-0 draw at Wembley on Friday during their return to the international football limelight.

But a masterclass from Croatia’s Luka Modric sent Steve Clarke’s men packing from the tournament.

“They were unbelievable tonight, Modric especially,” said defender Kieran Tierney. “I think his performance was incredible.”

Croatia’s Ivan Perisic celebrates scoring their third goal [Paul Ellis/Pool via Reuters]

With both sides needing a win to secure their place in the knockout stages after taking just one point from their opening two games, Croatia’s greater experience in controlling their nerves across 90 minutes was telling.

After conceding early to Nikola Vlasic, Scotland struck back with their first goal of the tournament through Callum McGregor to go in level at half-time.

But their energy reserves ran dry in the second half as Croatia kept the ball and finally ended the Scots’ resistance in style.

Sterling rises for England

Three years ago, most of Scotland cheered as Croatia beat England to reach the 2018 World Cup final.

On Tuesday, fans of the Three Lions had their revenge as they celebrated Scotland’s exit while watching their side beat Czech Republic 1-0 at Wembley to secure the top spot in Group D.

Raheem Sterling scored the winning goal with a header in the 12th minute at London’s Wembley Stadium.

In the 86th minute, Jordan Henderson found the net for the English team, but after a video assistant referee (VAR) check, it was ruled offside.

Despite losing to England, Czech Republic qualified for the last-16 as one of the best third-placed sides.

Source: News Agencies

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