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Scotland squander two-goal lead on departure to Euro 2024

Scotland’s Lawrence Shankland, second left, scores their second goal against Finland (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Scotland’s Lawrence Shankland, second left, scores their second goal against Finland (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Scotland’s 2024 Euro 2024 send-off turned into a damp squib after they let slip a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with Finland at Hampden Park.

After a dull first 45 minutes of a warm-up game which lacked intensity, captain Andy Robertson’s cut-back was turned into his own net by Finnish defender Arttu Hoskonen in the 54th minute before striker Lawrence Shankland headed in a second four minutes later for his third goal in dark blue.

Finland substitute Benjamin Kallman – a former Dundee player – reduced the deficit with a header in the 72nd minute before fellow substitute Oliver Antman levelled from the spot after veteran keeper Craig Gordon – on as substitute to make his 75th appearance – conceded the spot-kick with a challenge on Tomas Galvez.

Craig Gordon, left, collides with Finland’s Tomas Galvez to concede a late penalty
Craig Gordon, left, collides with Finland’s Tomas Galvez to concede a late penalty (Steve Welsh/PA)

Bristol City striker Tommy Conway was able to make his debut as a second-half substitute and almost grabbed a late winner but after qualifying for a second successive Euros last October, the time for tinkering is over.

Scotland travel to Germany on Sunday for the opening match against the host nation next Friday night before they take on Switzerland and Hungary in their next two games, with the aim of getting the country into the knockout stages of a major tournament for the first time.

Clarke had lost attackers Lyndon Dykes and Ben Doak from his squad and replaced them with Conway and Lewis Morgan, who won his last cap six years ago.

Both were on the bench but defender Anthony Ralston and Shankland were notable starters while defender John Souttar – reported to be one of the two players along with Gordon who would be cut from the squad – was nowhere to be seen.

Former Celtic striker Teemu Pukki and Aberdeen defender Richard Jensen were in the Finnish side who almost took the lead in the 10th minute, Scotland defender Kieran Tierney blocking a goal-bound shot from Casper Terho before keeper Angus Gunn saved Pukki’s close-range header seconds later.

Finland’s Teemu Pukki, right, attempts to chip Scotland goalkeeper Angus Gunn, centre
Finland’s Teemu Pukki, right, attempts to chip Scotland goalkeeper Angus Gunn (Steve Welsh/PA)

The Finland striker had another opportunity in the 16th minute but cleared the bar with a lob from 14 yards, while at the other end Shankland hooked a shot over the bar from the edge of the box.

The home side were almost caught by a counter-attack in the 35th minute but this time Terho’s shot was saved by Gunn.

Billy Gilmour’s drive from the edge of the box early in the second half was well saved by Finland substitute keeper Viljami Sinisalo before Ralston took a tumble over the byline and appeared to take a knock but soon got to his feet.

Ralston then had to shrug off a crunching tackle by Niilo Maenpaa before the Scots got the breakthrough.

Tierney sent Robertson racing down the left flank and his pass into the centre was intercepted by Hoskonen, with the ball speeding past Sinisalo.

John McGinn, Lawrence Shankland and Andy Robertson, left to right, celebrate Scotland’s first goal against Finland
John McGinn, Lawrence Shankland and Andy Robertson, left to right, celebrate Scotland’s first goal (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Then Robertson’s cross to the back post was brilliantly headed in by the off-balance Shankland to get the supporters energised further.

Shankland soon gave way to debutant Conway, with Greg Taylor on for Robertson before Robin Lod had the ball in the Scotland net only to be ruled offside.

In the 69th minute Gordon replaced Gunn and the 41-year-old was given a rousing reception before silence accompanied Kellman’s header from Antman’s cross.

Then Gordon took out Galvez in his attempt to cut out a cross and Antman slotted in the penalty to put a dampener on the night, although it took a great save from Sinisalo to stop Conway’s header in added time.