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Magnificent Scotland resurrect Euro 2020 campaign with 0-0 draw against England

Scotland's Lyndon Dykes  has this shot cleared off the line by Reece James.
Scotland's Lyndon Dykes has this shot cleared off the line by Reece James.

Super Scotland resurrected their Euro 2020 with a magnificent performance in drawing 0-0 with England at Wembley.

The brilliant Scots dictated the game for long spells and were unfortunate not to secure a win against one of the tournament favourites.

The point has rekindled hopes Steve Clarke’s side can make history by becoming the first Scottish to qualify from the group stages of a major tournament.

Scotland now face beaten World Cup 2018 finalists Croatia at Hampden on Tuesday fired up and with confidence coursing.

The Scots to a man were superb and ran themselves into the ground for the cause to the delight of the 2,600-strong Tartan Army in the stadium.

However, this wasn’t only about graft and determination. The Scots played some great football with Chelsea’s Billy Gilmour excelling on his first start.

This was 44th in the world against fourth, with England enjoying home advantage and their supporters outnumbering the Tartan Army 10 to 1.

England had only suffered two competitive defeats at Wembley in 14 years – that was the size of the task facing Steve Clarke’s Scots.

But they rose to the occasion and were the better team with a goal-line clearance from a Dykes shot in the second half denying Scotland a deserved winner.

There were 2,800 Scots lucky enough to get a “golden ticket” inside the stadium to witness the nations biggest game in 23 years.

After a generation of supporters had been denied occasions of this magnitude, many more thousands without a game brief had travelled down to London just for the atmosphere.

Both sets of players during the anthems during a Euro 2020 match between England and Scotland at Wembley Stadium.

Boss Clarke made a bold, exciting  and much-needed call in handing Chelsea star  Gilmour his first start in one of four changes to the side that lost 2-0 to Czech Republic in the Group D opener.

A game of this stature against such strong opposition needed someone to bring a spark and light it up – to bring that magic.

Gilmour can bring that.

The 20-year-old is a player that can make something happen, can control a game and will also take risks to gain rewards.

Thrown in at the deep end for not just his first senior Scotland start, Gilmour was not overwhelmed physically or mentally.

He was fearless.

Mason Mount of England battles with Billy Gilmour of Scotland.

Also coming in was Che Adams, Callum McGregor and Kieran Tierney, who recovered from a calf injury.

Dropping out were Ryan Christie, Liam Cooper, Jack Hendry and Stuart Armstrong.

Clarke also made a bold call in going with strikers Adams and Lyndon Dykes.

There was no place in the 23-man squad for Aberdeen summer signing Declan Gallagher.

Centre-back Gallagher also missed out on the match-day squad for the loss to Czech Republic as Clarke whittled a 26 squad down to 23.

It was harsh on Gallagher, 30, who was superb in the play-off final defeat of Serbia in November that secured Scotland’s qualification for Euro 2020.

The return of Arsenal stopper Tierney was vital as the 24-year-old brings an extra dimension to the Scots.

There was a heart-in-mouth moment when Tierney made his first trademark attacking burst forward from the left centre-back position.

Would the troublesome calf injury that ruled him out of the 2-0 loss to Czech Republic flare up at the first prolonged explosion of pace?

Thankfully it held up.

Scotland’s Callum McGregor (left) is tackled by England’s Phil Foden at Wembley.

Scotland were the first to threaten in the fourth minute when Stephen O’Donnell cut a low cross back from the right byline to find Che Adams with a pull-back.

Defender John Stones blocked the shot 12 yards out.

In the 11th minute, a curling shot from Mason Mount 22 yards out was deflected wide for a corner by O’Donnell.

From the resultant corner. Mount picked out Stones, but his powerful 12-yard header rattled off the post.

England’s John Stones hits the post with a first half header against Scotland at Wembley.

Soon after Mount shot wide from five yards at the near post after connecting with a cross from Raheem Sterling.

In the 22nd minute, Tierney unleashed an ambitious 30-yard dipping volley, but it flew well wide.

Scotland should have netted on the half hour mark when the combination of Robertson and Tierney combined down the left.

Tierney’s overlapping run left the England back-line struggling.

His cross found O’Donnell, who unleashed a low volley from eight yards only to be denied by a superb diving save by Jordan Pickford.

The loose ball fell to Adams eight yards out, but he couldn’t capitalise.

Scotland’s Stephen O’Donnell has a shot on goal against England at Wembley.

Scotland controlled the first half and were dictating the pace and tempo towards the end of the opening 45 minutes.

The Scots left to cheers at half-time from the vocal Tartan Army.

England left to jeers from their frustrated support.

Scotland’s Billy Gilmour (left) and England’s Raheem Sterling battle for the ball at Wembley.

Half-time: England 0 Scotland 0

England came out fired up after the break and in the 47th minute Mount fired in a vicious 22-yard drive that forced a save from David Marshall to his right hand save.

It was a superb stop as the ball was travelling and the surface was fast with the heavy rain.

England were looking dangerous and in the 55th minute Kane squared a pass across the outside of the box to James who shot over from 20 yards.

In the 62nd minute, a goal-line clearance denied Scotland.

Robertson’s dangerous corner whipped in found Dykes and his shot from 15 yards had Pickford beaten and was goal-bound until James cleared.

It was heartbreaking for the Scots and a let-off for the English.

Scotland’s Lyndon Dykes has his hot cleared off the line by Reece James.

In the 77th minute, a cross from Robertson came off the head of Stones and fell to Adams at the far post.

The Scotland striker lashed his half volley wide from 10 yards out.

Scotland put so much into the game, but continued to push on and press the English.

Steve Clarke’s side were at Wembley for the win.

The Tartan Army’s were forced to suffer a tense finale, with memories of blowing a lead in injury time in 2017 to draw 2-2 still fresh in minds.

However, the Scots retained their concentration to secure the draw.

Full-time: England 0 Scotland 0

ENGLAND (4-3-3) – Pickford; James, Stones, Mings, Shaw, Phillips, Rice, Mount, Foden (Grealish 63), Kane (Rashford 74), Sterling.

Subs not used: Maguire, Henderson,  Trippier, Ramsdale, Coady, Sancho, Calvert-Lewin, Chilwell, Johnstone, Bellingham.

SCOTLAND (3-5-2) – Marshall; McTominay, Hanley, Tierney, O’Donnell, McGregor, Gilmour (Armstrong 76), McGinn, Robertson, Adams, Dykes.

Subs not used: Gordon, McLaughlin, Christie, Fleck, Cooper,  Nisbet, Fraser, Patterson, Hendry, Forrest, McKenna.

REFEREE : Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz (Spain)

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