Connect with us


Scotland get Euro 2024 reality check from Finland fightback – 5 talking points



Scotland’s send-off ahead of Euro 2024 ended in disappointment after they squandered a two goal lead to allow Finland to claim a share of the spoils at Hampden.

But despite the drab affair spirits remained high with the crowd waving off their heroes before they jet off for Germany. Steve Clarke‘s men had raced into a 2-0 lead early in the second half but let the visitors grab two easy goals to add elements of apprehension ahead of their tournament opener with Germany next week.

The first half passed without much incident, although Kieran Tierney had to be alert to make a smart block inside the box from Casper Terho as the visitors found space in behind the five-man Scots backline. Clarke’s side had no problems with fashioning opportunities in front of goal in Monday’s away win in Gibraltar but went into the interval without offering anything in an attacking sense to trouble Finnish stopper Jesse Joronen.

The Scotland boss opted to make no changes to his team during the break, but will have had some stern words about the lack of intensity both with and without the ball in the first 45 minutes. The hosts were able to up their game ever so slightly in the opening stages of the half, with Billy Gilmour testing out substitute goalkeeper Viljami Sinisalo with a half-volley from inside the box that the former Ayr United man was able to palm away.

And within nine minutes, Scotland went in front in extremely fortuitous circumstances when Andy Robertson’s low cross was turned into his own net by Finnish defender Arttu Hoskonen. That lucky break finally gave the Hampden crowd something to shout about, with Finland also then beginning to open with their defensive game plan out the window. That worked to Scotland’s advantage and just four minutes later they doubled their lead when Lawrence Shankland did brilliantly to get on the end of Roberton’s fine delivery to guide a header home Sinisalo.

Hoskonen was the unfortunate party, deflecting the ball into his own goal(Image: SNS Group)

With the result seemingly in the bag, Craig Gordon and Greg Taylor were introduced, with Tommy Conway also handed a senior Scotland debut. But minutes after his arrival, veteran stopper Gordon was picking the ball out of the net when slack Scotland defending allowed Benjamin Kallman to ghost in and head home. VAR was called upon to check for a possible offside, but the goal was given to set up a nervy finish at the national stadium.

Scotland have been the architects of their own downfall in recent months, and Gordon’s night got from bad worse, colliding with Finland sub Tomas Galvez inside the area, leaving the referee with no choice but to point to the spot. Oliver Antman kept his cool to find the net with a side-footed spot kick that turned out to be the final goal on a underwhelming night of action.

Continue Reading