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Host Germany gives Euro 2024 liftoff by outclassing 10-man Scotland 5-1
6/15/2024 9:19:35 PM
MUNCIH, June 15: Host Germany could hardly have wished for a better start to the European Championship.
Goals from Florian Wirtz and Jamal Musiala in an imperious first half set Germany on the way to a confidence-boosting 5-1 win over 10-man Scotland in the Euro 2024 curtainraiser on Friday.
While Germany didn't really have to break sweat against a sub-par Scotland at Allianz Arena, it was the ideal result to launch its tournament and ramp up excitement in the country.
"Yes, that's exactly the way we wanted to start and, to be honest, we needed a start just like that," Germany captain Ilkay Gündogan told German broadcaster ZDF. "I had a good feeling before the game already, to be honest, and it came true, thank God.
"But exactly this atmosphere, the euphoria in the stadium now with our own fans, that's exactly what we need in order to go far."
Pre-tournament title expectations of the Germans were underwhelming after they crashed out of their last three major tournaments. But they've opened with their biggest victory in Euros history.
They dominated the first half, which ended in the worst possible way for Scotland when defender Ryan Porteous was sent off and Kai Havertz converted the resulting penalty kick. Substitutes Niclas Füllkrug and Emre Can piled on to Scotland's misery after the break.
"The first 20 minutes were very impressive. The first goals were very good," Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann said. "It's very valuable that many players performed well early on.
"It was only the first step but a very good one and we can build on this one. We're very happy."
Scotland, which hadn't had a shot on goal all match, managed to give its raucous fans something to celebrate late on when the ball was bundled into the back of the net off Germany defender Antonio Rüdiger for an own goal.
Steve Clarke's side will have to do better against Hungary and Switzerland if it is to get out of Group A and reach the knockout stage for the first time.
"Difficult night. We didn't play to our standard. The German team were excellent," Clarke said.
"We feel as though we've let ourselves down. We're better than that. Hopefully we can show that the next two games."
Scotland's Tartan Army of supporters started the match in fine voice but they were swiftly quietened when Wirtz scored in the 10th.
Toni Kroos picked out Joshua Kimmich with a brilliant crossfield lob and he rolled it across for Wirtz to fire in.
Wirtz became Germany's youngest Euros goal-scorer at 21. Musiala, 67 days older than Wirtz, doubled Germany's tally nine minutes later after combining well with Havertz.
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