England and Scotland’s 2020 Euro Group D match on Friday resulted in a no-goal draw, raising doubts as to how dominant the English team will be as the tournament progresses. The match was held at London’s iconic Wembley Stadium, which was only a quarter full due to the affect of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in England. It was there that the underrated Scottish squad proved they were up to the fight against their more-favored rivals.
The crowd was rambunctious and on edge at the start of the game, with supporters of both sides trying as best as they could to create distractions for the players. The host team’s fans booed the Scottish national anthem loudly, with Scottish fans booing back, but the clamor soon died down as the stands became rapt with the surprisingly even play between the two sides.
A fast paced and evenly matched meeting
All though the tensions between the two nations’ teams are not as high as they once were, the spirit of the rivalry was definitely in the air on Friday in Wembley, with a fast pace established right at the outset of the game. Referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz struggled to assert order between the two sides and keep the match civil. England had its first opportunity from an ill-fated corner kick that was headed directly into the goal post.
Scotland saw a perfect window to score when Kieren Tierney sent the ball to O’Donnell in the 32nd minute, but English keeper Pickford caught the ball with perfect coordination.
England will go on to play the Czech Republic, and Scotland will play Croatia, both on Tuesday, June 22nd.
Old rivals meet again at the 2020 Euros
The English-Scottish football rivalry dates all the way back to 1872, when they played their first international fixture at Hamilton Crescent in Glasgow, Scotland. The match was instigated by public challenges published by the secretary of the Football Association in England, challenging the Scottish to a match against the English, goading them on with a series of newspaper ads throughout the late 1860’s.
They played five matches at the Oval in London before their 1872 match, the first one recognized by FIFA as being official. The rivalry continued into the 20th century, with the English squad regularly defeating the Scots by large margins, until the legendary 1977 match where the Scottish defeated the English 2-3 in the Annual series, resulting in the Tartan army invading the pitch and tearing down the goal posts.
Their rivalry arrived at the Euros in 1996, when the two teams were draw into the same group, causing a flurry of excitement in fans, who had not seen a face-off between their respective teams in seven years. Tickets to the match sold out in two days. The Scottish national anthem was entirely inaudible under the booing of the English fans in the stands. After a tense first half that ended with no goals scored, the Scottish team conceded two goals to the English.