Euro 2024: Germany sets record with dominant win over Scotland

Photo of Germany's win over Scotland in Euro2024.

Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz propelled Euro 2024 hosts Germany to their largest-ever opening game victory at a European Championship, defeating Scotland 5-1 under Julian Nagelsmann’s leadership. Musiala and Wirtz, both 21, are seen as the leaders of Germany’s new generation. They scored the opening goals, paving the way for a win even more decisive than the final score indicates.

Scotland’s hopes of avoiding a heavy loss were further dashed when defender Ryan Porteous was sent off at 42 minutes for a studs-up challenge on Ílkay Gündogan. The incident, after a VAR review, resulted in a penalty and a red card for the Watford player.

Germany entered the tournament as underdogs behind France, England, and Portugal, following a turbulent period under Nagelsmann and his predecessor Hansi Flick. Recent group stage exits at the last two World Cups and a round-of-16 loss to England at Euro 2020 had Germany bracing for a difficult tournament as they aimed for their first European Championship title since 1996.

However, home supporters’ anxiety quickly vanished when Bayer Leverkusen’s Florian Wirtz scored the opening goal within the first 10 minutes, following a smooth buildup involving Toni Kroos, Ilkay Gundogan, and Joshua Kimmich. Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala then doubled the lead in the 19th minute with an assist from Kai Havertz. Germany further extended their lead when Havertz converted a penalty after Ryan Porteous fouled Gundogan.

With Porteous sent off and two group games still to play against Switzerland and Hungary, Scotland coach Steve Clarke aimed to limit the damage in the second half by substituting forward Ché Adams for defender Grant Hanley. This adjustment helped slow the onslaught, but Scotland continued to be dominated by Germany. Niclas Füllkrug scored Germany’s fourth goal in the 68th minute, and though he appeared to score a fifth shortly after, VAR ruled it out for offside.

An own goal by Antonio Rüdiger in the 87th minute gave Scotland fans a brief moment to celebrate, which they did with exaggerated enthusiasm, before Emre Can scored Germany’s fifth goal in stoppage time, securing a decisive victory.

Visuals and key moments from Euro 2024

The France squad trained in front of 4,000 fans on Thursday at Paderborn SC’s stadium in western Germany, a short 15-minute drive from their base in Bad Lippspringe. The crowd’s main focus was clearly on Kylian Mbappé. However, the Real Madrid forward did not train due to back and knee pains.

Although not a major concern for coach Didier Deschamps, it was enough to keep Mbappé inside for treatment with the physios. He eventually came out to watch the last half-hour of the session, causing the stadium to erupt in excitement when he appeared on the touchline.

The French football federation reported 100,000 ticket requests for this open session, with the 4,000 available tickets snapped up in just four minutes. While Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembélé received some cheers, the France captain, beaming all afternoon, was undoubtedly the main attraction. He stayed afterward to take photos and sign autographs, delighting the young fans who chanted his name.


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