After a 23-year wait, Scotland hopes to give the Tartan Army something to cheer about.


After a 23-year wait, Scotland hopes to give the Tartan Army something to cheer about.

Scotland is looking forward to the European Championships in 2020, which has been postponed for 23 years due to sorrow and dissatisfaction.

The Tartan Army hasn’t had a summer tournament to look forward to since the 1998 World Cup finals in France, albeit there will be a limit on how many fans can attend due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions.

There were just two groups of four when Scotland qualified for the Euros for the first time in 1992 in Sweden.

There will be six groups of four this time, but Scotland supporters are unconcerned about the quality being diluted.

The road to the 2020 competition began, rather perplexingly, with Alex McLeish’s maiden Nations League campaign in 2018 and ended last November with Steve Clarke’s stunning penalty shootout victory in Serbia.

In a nutshell, McLeish guided Scotland to the top of their Nations League group, ensuring a place in the play-offs.

When the traditional European Championship qualifications got off to a bad start with a demoralising defeat in Kazakhstan and a battle in San Marino, McLeish stepped down and was replaced by Clarke, who had previously managed Kilmarnock.

However, after a failed qualifying campaign, it went back to the play-offs as a safety net.

Scotland faced Israel in the semi-final, and after 120 minutes of goalless play at Hampden Park, the Scots won their first penalty shootout 5-3.

Scotland put up their greatest performance under Clarke in the final against Serbia in Belgrade, although they lost a 1-0 lead in the 90th minute, forcing extra time.

Scotland won all five penalties once more, with goalkeeper David Marshall becoming the hero with a save against Aleksandar Mitrovic.

The TAs were, of course, confined to barracks and forced to watch all of the drama on television, but their excitement knew no bounds.

The team was pleased as well, and their celebrations went viral. For reasons that trace back to defender Andy Considine’s stag party in 2015, the anthem was Spanish pair Baccara’s 1970s smash song, “Yes Sir, I can Boogie,” and it will be enjoyed. (This is a brief piece.)


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