Scotland bow out of tournament as lack of experience proves to be their undoing

Scotland have been one of the most impressive teams at Euro 2020 but faced elimination in the group stage.

Steve Clarke’s side gave their all in their three group games. But that wasn’t enough against the likes of far superior opponents like England, Croatia and the Czech Republic.

After 23 years in the wilderness of international football, Scotland made huge strides by qualifying for the European Championships. Their best may not have been good enough at Euro 2020, but Andrew Robertson, Scott McTominay and co impressed with their resilience and fight.

Scotland fall to Croatia

On Tuesday, the fate of the Tartan Army was sealed when they lost 3-1 to Croatia. Scotland were in the game for large swathes and were on the front foot for a while as well.

When Callum McGregor restored parity in the 42nd minute after Nicola Vlasic had given Croatia an early lead, it felt like it was going to be Scotland’s night. However, the quality of Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic shone and changed the face of the game. The Croatian duo both scored to consign Clarke’s team to defeat.

Hampden Park has rarely had moments to celebrate the Scottish national team in recent years. But the Tartan Army must have given their fans plenty of hope with their performances during the group stage.

Lack of experience costs Tartan Army

The current Scotland team could easily pass as the country’s golden generation in the 21st century. However, their lack of big-tournament experience proved to be their undoing.

For a team boasting Robertson, Billy Gilmour, McTominey, Che Adams, Kieran Tierney and John McGinn, to exit the Euros without a single win is disappointing.

“It’s disappointment at the moment, but we’ll take stock; we’ll see what we can do better, and we’ll make sure it’s not 23 years until we go to the next tournament,” Scotland coach Clarke said, as quoted by Sky Sports. “We had a little spell just before we got the goal and just after, where we looked like we might get something out of the game; we had some moments where we managed to play through them, but overall, Croatia were the better team.”

Indeed, Croatia were clearly better and when it mattered most, Zlatko Dalic’s side made their experience count. But as Clarke said, Scotland are very talented, and this is not the last we’ve heard from them.

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