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Scotland reach Euro 2020 in dramatic fashion; Northern Ireland miss out

November 12, 2020

David Marshall was the hero as Scotland reached the Euro 2020 finals with a penalty shoot-out win over Serbia in Belgrade.

Scotland, of course, did it the hard way as they reached their first major tournament since 1998 after a 1-1 draw.

Ryan Christie’s strike appeared to have sent Steve Clarke’s dominant side into Euro 2020 but Serbia scored with their first effort on target in the 90th minute.

However, the blow proved to be fleeting as Marshall saved from Aleksandar Mitrovic in the 10th penalty of the shoot-out.

Christie gave Scotland a deserved 52nd-minute lead with an excellent strike from outside the box and Steve Clarke’s side had chances to give themselves an extra cushion.

They would regret not getting a second goal, despite looking comfortable for the vast majority of normal time.

Marshall was rarely troubled, the Scotland defence were resolute when they needed to be, the midfield composed and confident and Christie, John McGinn and Lyndon Dykes gave the home defence serious problems.

But Serbia put Scotland under some late aerial pressure and Luka Jovic headed home unchallenged following a corner 20 seconds before the 90-minute mark.

However, Scotland secured a 5-4 penalties triumph to set themselves up for two Hampden encounters against Croatia and Czech Republic and a Wembley clash with England at next summer’s delayed finals.


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Disappointment for Northern Ireland

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland’s Euro 2020 qualifying campaign ended in heartache as Michal Duris’ extra-time goal condemned them to a 2-1 play-off final defeat at home to Slovakia.

A dramatic own goal from Milan Skriniar in the 88th minute cancelled out Juraj Kucka’s first-half opener and sent the game into an extra half an hour.

The momentum seemed to be with the hosts but it all changed in the 110th minute when a hopeful through-ball bounced off Jonny Evans and fell kindly for Duris to beat Bailey Peacock-Farrell at his near post.

The Burnley goalkeeper will feel he could have done better, but it was a bitter blow for Northern Ireland as their hopes of qualifying for a second consecutive European Championship were quashed.

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