Scotland Stays Alive Against Auld Enemy
It's football's oldest rivalry. One that supersedes sports and is paid in full with a history few countries share. Only two thousand Scots made the trip, but they made their voices heard against the auld enemy. It was an electric atmosphere.
Steve Clarke certainly heard the criticism over his selection against the Czechs, as he made a bevy of changes to the starting eleven. Those changes were highlighted by Adams and Gilmour's insertion into the lineup and Tierney's return from injury.
First and foremost, Scotland needed to play at their very best to have a chance to stay alive in this tournament, and they rose to the challenge. They played with heart and had the guts to take risks they never did in their opener.
Kieran Tierney's return was felt immediately. With England focusing in on the skipper Andy Robertson, the Gunner made plenty of runs that created space and forced England to keep their heads on a swivel. That led to a much better effort in the midfield, which afforded Scotland an easier time to build up on the offensive end.
All those players who were left out of the starting eleven in matchday one made their presence known today. Adams, McGregor and Gilmour brought life to the squad, and McTominay was effective dropping back into the back three. He a little bit of a shaky start but finished the game strong.
One could say England wasted this opportunity to lock up a spot in the Round of 16, but Scotland played brilliantly. However, with the amount of talent they have on their roster, they have a right to be disappointed.
Both sides created chances, especially off of set pieces. Stone and O'Donnell both had glorious opportunities off of corners. Stone was left all alone and pegged a header off the woodwork. O'Donnell's required a little more focus, but Pickford made quite a save to keep the score tied.
Shoutout to Dykes for having a bounce-back game. He still lacks that finishing touch, but he and Adams worked their asses off to keep Scotland's high line intact. They were both a big reason why England's big guns were kept at bay.
The boys will have plenty of time to boogie before their next outing against Croatia. And if they put forth the same effort they did today, they certainly have a chance to shock the world if the Czechs are kept, well, in check on Tuesday.