Scotland begins their Euro campaign with a victory over Cyprus.

Scott McTominay’s late double gave Scotland a comfortable win over Cyprus in their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign.

John McGinn’s close-range finish, his 16th goal for his country, capped off a dominant first half performance.

McTominay, a substitute, calmed nerves around Hampden with a clinical 87th-minute finish.

And the Manchester United midfielder quickly added his second.

Steve Clarke had billed it as a must-win game against Group A’s bottom seeds, who finished with 10 men after a late red card for Nicholas Ioannou, and it was a job well done in that regard.

However, Scotland’s head coach will be aware that, despite their first win in a Euro qualifying campaign since 2006, improvement will be required when top seeds Spain visits on Tuesday.

As it happened, reaction
The start of a new qualifying campaign filled the Tartan Army with hope.

They were rewarded with a dominant first-half performance in which they were rarely threatened and consistently probed the Cypriot defensive wall.

All that was needed was a little more cutting edge in the crucial area – directly in front of the goal. That was a running theme until late in the game, with the outcome still uncertain until McTominay stepped up.

The intention of Scotland was clear. Attack Cyprus from the flanks, especially the left. That pattern was fairly consistent, but the first real threat came from the other side, when Aaron Hickey danced into the box and forced goalkeeper Demetris Demetriou into a low save at his post from the tightest of angles.

Clarke’s team was cruising, comfortable on the ball, and displaying an impressive level of poise.

Stuart Armstrong fed Andy Robertson, who timed his run perfectly to stay marginally onside and cross first time, to set up the crucial first goal. The ball deflected perfectly into McGinn’s path, and he instinctively raced to meet it and finish from close range, giving him one more Scotland goal than the legendary James McFadden.

Che Adams came close after excellent interplay with McGinn, but his shot was tipped over, and the unfortunate striker was forced to leave the field early in the second half with an apparent injury.

The second half show dipped significantly, and the possibility of Cyprus stealing something began to emerge.

Scotland, on the other hand, made it thanks to three of their own substitutes. Ryan Christie won possession and fired in a cross, which Lyndon Dykes nodded on and McTominay raced onto to half-volley home.

An enormous cheer and sigh of relief erupted at Hampden before McTominay capitalised once more when Robertson laid the ball into his path and he calmly dispatched it with ease.

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