EURO 2024 Report: Scotland 1 – 1 Switzerland

Dan Ndoye of Switzerland controls the ball whilst under pressure from Callum McGregor of Scotland during the UEFA EURO 2024 group stage match between Scotland and Switzerland at Cologne Stadium on June 19, 2024 in Cologne

Dan Ndoye of Switzerland controls the ball whilst under pressure from Callum McGregor of Scotland during the UEFA EURO 2024 group stage match between Scotland and Switzerland at Cologne Stadium on June 19, 2024 in Cologne Credit: Photo by Harriet Lander - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Dylan O’Connell reports from Cologne 

Scotland boosted their chances of playing in the knock-out stage of a major international tournament for the first time after a 1-1 draw with Switzerland in their Group A meeting at the Cologne Arena on Wednesday night. 

A deflected Scott McTominay strike gave Steve Clarke’s side the lead but Xherdan Shaqiri latched onto a Anthony Ralston error and scored a stunning goal to level the match shortly after a Scottish opener. 

Scotland now need a result against Hungary in their final group game to make history and progress to the knock out stages of Euro 2024.  

Clarke adjusted the team accordingly by making two changes to the group that lost 5-1 to Germany. The players were still set up in their tried and tested 3-4-3 formation, the only real difference was Billy Gilmour in midfield instead of Ryan Christie. 

The new look team were on the front foot from the first whistle, and this helped Scotland win two corners inside the first two minutes. 

Scotland took a deserved lead within 15 minutes after they countered from a Switzerland set piece. Andy Robertson drove forward with the ball and found Calum McGregor, who after an initial stumble, composed himself to find McTominay in space, whose shot ricocheted of Schar and beat Sommer in the Swiss goal. 

Switzerland took a second to regroup, and they used the experience of Ruben Vargas, Shaqiri, and Granit Xhaka to wrestle control of the game from Scotland. 

This all came together in the 26th minute when Shaqiri picked off a stray pass from Ralston and swung his right leg at the ball. The midfielder hit the top corner with so much force, Angus Gunn was left stranded, and Switzerland equalised. 

The Scotland goalkeeper had no time to think about what just happened. He was called into action in the 31stminute to deal with a curling shot from Dan Ndoye. The shot-stopper pushed the ball away, but the Swiss managed to turn it in during the ensuring chaos inside the penalty area. 

The referee ruled this out for offside, and a brief VAR check confirmed this. Scotland used the second of respite to reset, and they restarted by going back to basics. 

A big part of this was players playing to their strengths, like Robertson muscling through on the overlap and winning a corner off Akanji. 

Che Adams went for goal with this at the back-post and an off-balance attempt by the striker was stopped on the goal-line by Sommer. 

Switzerland saw a lot more of the ball in the second half. Despite this, the only real chance of note after the restart was a curling attempt by Vargas and that went straight into the hands of Gunn. 

Switzerland should have taken the lead after Ndoye twisted clear of Grant Hanley and Tierney and got a clear sight of goal. The midfielder tried to score with just Gunn to beat and his left legged shot dragged wide. 

Scotland were dealt a major concern ahead of their clash with Hungary with Kieran Tierney stretchered off with an hamstring injury midway through the second half. 

Scotland came through this spell and won a free-kick on the edge of the box, Robertson sent it to Hanley, who hit the post with a header and the loose ball was scrambled off the line.

Both sides huffed and puffed for a later winner, but neither could find the elusive goal to grab all three points. 

Next up for the Tartan Army is a trip to Stuttgart on Sunday. 

Scotland: Angus Gunn; Anthony Ralston, Andrew Robertson, Scott McTominay, Grant Hanley, Kieran Tierney (Scott McKenna 63), John McGinn (Ryan Christie 90), Callum McGregor, Che Adams (Lawerence Shankland 90), Jack Hendry, Billy Gilmour (Kenny McLean 79). 

Subs not used: Liam Kelly (GK); Zander Clark (GK), Liam Cooper, Stuart Armstrong, Lewis Morgan, Tommy Conway, Ryan Jack, Ross McCrorie, Greg Taylor, James Forrest.

Booked: Scott McTominay (51); Scott McKenna (68), John McGinn (71), 

Switzerland: Yann Sommer; Silvan Widmer (Leonidas Stergiou 86), Manuel Akanji, Remo Freuler (Fabian Rieder 75), Granit Xhaka, Ricardo Rodriguez, Ruben Vargas (Vincent Sierro 75), Dan Ndoye (Zeki Amdouni 86), Michel Aebischer, Fabian Schar, Xherdan Shaqiri (Breel Embolo 60). 

Subs not used: Yvon Mvogo (GK); Gregor Kobel (GK), Nico Elvedi, Noah Okafor, Renato Steffan, Cedric Zesiger, Kwadwo Duah, Ardon Jashari.

Booked: None.

Referee:  Ivan Kruzliak (Slovakia)