After a cagey 1-1 draw in regulation time, and after extra-time, the penalty shootout was a gripping encounter for both teams. However, manager Steve Clarke and his boys stood the test of time and progressed following a 5-4 win in the shootout.
“It is great for Scotland and puts us back on the map. It puts us in the next tournament. The whole nation can be proud,” the Scotland coach said, as quoted by the Evening Express.
“But no one can be prouder than the players on the pitch because they were magnificent. It was a magnificent night for everyone in Scotland. I hope the supporters enjoyed the moment as much as we did in Belgrade. We have shown that we have built great character in the squad," said Clarke.
Qualification to the Euros puts the country back on the map after over two decades of underachieving. It also highlights the newfound spirit that this group of players have.
Scotland has had some very great players in the past. The likes of Dennis Law and Kenny Dalglish had their moments, but the current squad is a rare golden generation.
This team consists of players who playing top-level football on a consistent basis. On Thursday, Clarke had the honour of calling upon Liverpool’s Andrew Robertson, Manchester United’s Scott McTominay and Arsenal’s Kieran Tierney to his starting line-up.
Robertson, who is the captain of the side, and McTominay, who played as a make-shift center-back, exemplify everything that this Scotland team is about: passion and hardwork.
Both players were playing in uncomfortable positions against the Serbs but gave a 100%, including holding their nerves during the penalty shootouts.
Euro 2020 will be Scotland’s first major international tournament since the 1998 FIFA World Cup. It’s a proud moment for Clarke and his lads and they have every right to enjoy it.Published 13 Nov 2020, 18:23 IST