07 Sep Scotland 2-3 Germany: Brave Scots edged out
Scotland suffered another blow in their quest for Euro 2016 after a 3-2 defeat to Germany consigned them to the play-offs at best.
In an entertaining and bizarre first half the Scots pegged back the world champions twice to go in level at the break.
Mats Hummels’ own goal was sandwiched in between a Thomas Muller double before James McArthur equalised just before half-time.
However, Ilkay Gundogan grabbed a third for Joachim Low’s men, leaving the Scots to mull over a second defeat in three days and their Euro 2016 hopes hanging by a thread.
Nevertheless, Scotland boss Gordon Strachan remains bullish about his side’s chances.
“Let’s get this straight. We are still in this. Trust me, we are still in this,” he said.
“If we play like that, with sheer determination, with a wee bit of luck – we never had that tonight but they went through that pain barrier.
“But we are still in this and I can’t wait to get them back together to go again in the next two games.
“I am really proud of them and they should be proud of themselves.”
With Ireland beating Georgia, Scotland now need at least a draw with Poland and a victory over Gibraltar to seal a play-off spot – provided that Ireland don’t pick up anything against Germany or Poland.
That would be enough to put the Scots in the play-offs as they have a better head-to-head record.
But there is a feeling that it should have never come down to this as they should have beat Georgia, which still rankles with fans.
The performance had improved at Hampden on Monday but there was still a sense of a inevitability around the German victory.
The visitors’ passing was crisp and incisive and after dominating the opening stages they took the lead through a deflected Muller effort.
Scotland though levelled with their first real attack and it was perhaps unsurprising that it came from a set piece.
Shaun Maloney’s free kick was whipped into the danger area. Neuer looked uncharacteristically unsure of himself and parried the ball straight off Hummels and into an empty net.
Parity wasn’t restored for long as Muller doubled the world champions’ lead.
Emre Can was afforded far too much time and space by Charlie Mulgrew. He drilled in a shot which was too hot for Marshall to handle and Muller bundled the ball over from close range.
Incredibly, the Scots found a second goal with McArthur firing a side-foot effort from the edge of the box which Neuer couldn’t collect.
Germany struck the winner early in the second half as Gundogan finished off a lovely move and despite their best efforts Scotland were unable to find a third way back into the game.