Scotland's Brave Effort Falls Short in Spain

Scotland’s Brave Effort Falls Short in Spain

In Thursday’s Euro 2024 qualifier held in Seville, Alvaro Morata and Oihan Sancet were the goal scorers as Spain secured a 2-0 victory over the leaders of Group A, Scotland.

Scotland needed just a single point to secure their place in the upcoming European Championship next summer. They believed they had taken a significant step towards qualification when Scott McTominay’s outstanding free kick found the back of the net, but it was disallowed for an offside on Jack Hendry.

However, Spain took the lead 14 minutes later when Morata headed the ball into the net from close range after a cross from Jesus Navas. Sancet later extended Spain’s lead in the 87th minute.

As they head into their next qualifier against Georgia on November 16, Scotland remains at the top of Group A with 15 points, three points ahead of Spain, who have a game in hand.

Spain had a chance to take an early lead, with Morata providing a superb pass to Ferran Torres, but Torres narrowly missed the target.

In the fifth minute, Spain had another opportunity, as Morata met a corner at the far post, but his header went wide. Scotland managed to escape unscathed from these early exchanges.

Spain maintained control of the game, with Mikel Oyarzabal attempting a shot in the 20th minute, but it sailed over the crossbar.

In the 34th minute, Spain hit the post when Mikel Merino’s powerful strike struck the woodwork, leaving Scotland’s goalkeeper, Angus Gunn, well beaten.

Spain appeared to have scored in the 38th minute when Morata poked a low cross from Dani Carvajal past Gunn, but the offside flag came to Scotland’s rescue, and the decision was confirmed as correct.

Scotland was forced to make a late first-half substitution as Andrew Robertson suffered an arm injury. Despite struggling to gain momentum in the first half, they managed to reach halftime with the score level at 0-0.

In the early stages of the second half, Bryan Zaragoza, one of Spain’s halftime substitutes, fired a long-range effort over the Scotland crossbar.

Scotland had their first significant opportunity in the 53rd minute when John McGinn set up Ryan Christie with a clever pass, but Christie lost his footing at a crucial moment.

Morata later fired over the crossbar from a deflected Carvajal cross. Then, Scotland believed they had taken the lead through McTominay’s free kick.

The away fans celebrated, thinking McTominay had scored from an improbable angle, but the goal was disallowed after a VAR review. Hendry was penalized for being offside just in front of goalkeeper Unai Simon.

Spain finally broke the deadlock in the 73rd minute as Morata headed the ball into the net from a Navas cross.

In the 86th minute, Spain doubled their lead as Hickey’s mistake allowed Joselu to cross to Sancet, who bundled the ball home from close range.

Spain will now face Norway, who are in third place with 10 points, with a chance to move to the top of Group A ahead of Scotland with the same number of matches. If Norway fails to defeat Spain, Scotland’s spot in Euro 2024 will be confirmed.