Scotland are out of the Euros as a familiar combination of hope, brief flashes of skill, bad luck and a typical gutsy underdog performance in one of the group games proves to be not enough to carry them through once again in a major tournament.
It might have not been everyone's cup of tea or Irn Bru, but the 0-0 draw between England and Scotland at the Euros was maybe best recognised by football history types for a result that hasn't happened very often between the sides in a long history of hostilities since 1872. Alex Horsburgh (@AlexHTheMax) explains...
Scotland's draw with England in the Euros was the first ever scoreless draw between the sides at Wembley, and only the fourth 0-0 between the sides (with the others being in 1872, 1987 and in 1970!)
Following the very first match between the sides in 1872 at the West of Scotland cricket ground in Glasgow, the next zero all scoreline came almost 100 years later and, similar to Friday 18 June 2021, it was an unfancied Scotland team v the perceived future worldbeaters of England.
|The very first clash finished 0-0 in 1872|
This was the final clash in the four team Home International Championship that season (1969/70) before the Scots headed off on holiday and England departed to make their unsuccessful defence of the World Cup in Mexico.
Hampden was windswept and dreich on 25th April 1970, but was illuminated by a good performance from the Scots, manager Bobby Brown having been pressed into using some younger players – like Billy Dickson, Willie Carr, Davie Hay and John O’Hare – due to the unavailability of more established players.
"Makeshift” was how some newspapers described the Scottish team.
Days before the Auld Enemy clash, Jimmy Johnstone of Celtic had tormented Terry Cooper in the European Cup semi-final, but with no Leeds United or Chelsea players available (due to the FA Cup final replay), Emlyn Hughes faced Jinky in Glasgow. It was a no-contest; however, it still didn’t assist the Scots in making a breakthrough.
Scotland should have had a penalty when Colin Stein drove in to the box, only to be unceremoniously upended by Brian Labone, a blatant penalty. However, referee Gerhardt Schulenberg of West Germany dismissed the claim. No hint of home bias from him, even though he was wearing a Scotland change shirt due to a clash between the hosts and the traditional black officials’ attire.
|Labone missed lifting the 1966 World Cup to get married!|
Fun fact regarding Labone, by the way, the England defender was on his way to World Cup 1970 after previously decling a place in the 1966 Three Lions squad as he was getting married the summer of England's greatest ever triumph!
It maybe should not have been a surprise that Scotland upped their game at Wembley 2021, as they only actually lost one to England when World Cup holders over four years and annual meetings in London and Glasgow.
The Scots were the first team to beat England after their '66 triumph less than a year after they picked up the trophy when they won 3-2 at Wembley in April 1967 with Dennis Law, Bobby Lennox and 19 year old Jim McCalliog [the Billy Gilmour of the day] all on the score sheet for the visitors.
|Billy Gilmour, Scotland's new 2021 hero|
1968 saw a 1-1 Home Internationals draw at Hampden with both the '67 and '68 games also doubling as European Championship qualifiers for a scaled down Euros in 1968 with only semi finalists fighting out the final stages in Italy.
England would, in familiar fashion, go through on overall performances in the two Home International series in 1967 and 1968 to face Yugoslavia in the last four in Italy only to lose 2-1, with Alan Mullery becoming the first England player to be sent off wearing the Three Lions.
1969 would see England [World Champions mix] finally wear down Scottish resistance with a 4-1 win at Wembley to take their first win v the men in dark blue since a couple of months before their World Cup win when they revved up for their home tournament with an exciting 3-4 win in Glasgow.
Then came the 0-0 at Hampden in 1970 before the Three Lions went out at the Quarter final stage in Mexico as the Germans recovered from 2-0 down to win 3-2 with a Gerd Muller strike proving to be the decisive goal.
The teams for the 1970 clash at Hampden Park:
Jim Cruickshank (Hearts), Tommy Gemmell (Celtic), Billy Dickson (Kilmarnock), John Greig (Rangers, captain), Ron McKinnon (Rangers), Bobby Moncur (Newcastle), Jimmy Johnstone (Celtic), David Hay (Celtic), Colin Stein (Rangers), John O’Hare (Derby County), Willie Carr (Coventry City). Substitute: Alan Gilzean (Spurs)
Gilzean replaced Moncur on 85 mins
Gordon Banks (Stoke City), Keith Newton (Everton), Emlyn Hughes (Liverpool), Nobby Stiles (Manchester United), Brian Labone (Everton), Bobby Moore (Captain, West Ham United), Peter Thompson (Liverpool), Alan Ball (Everton), Jeff Astle (West Bromwich Albion), Geoff Hurst (West Ham United), Martin Peters (Tottenham Hotspur).
Substitute: Allan Mullery (Tottenham Hotspur)
Mullery replaced Thompson on 63 mins
By Alex Horsburgh, written for @TFHBs
©The Football History Boys, 2021
(All pictures borrowed and not owned in any form by TFHB)