Hosts Germany start Euro 2024 carnival with big win

Germany began their quest for a record fourth continental title by beating Scotland 5-1

By AFP

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Germany's Manuel Neuer, Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller celebrate after the match. —  Reuters
Germany's Manuel Neuer, Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller celebrate after the match. — Reuters

Published: Sat 15 Jun 2024, 1:33 AM

Germany thrashed 10-man Scotland 5-1 as the Euro 2024 hosts kicked off the tournament in style in Munich on Friday, the start of a journey they hope culminates in a record fourth continental title.

Florian Wirtz struck the opening goal 10 minutes in and Jamal Musiala soon doubled Germany's lead with an emphatic finish.


A greatly awaited night for Scotland went from bad to worse before half-time when Ryan Porteous was sent off for a two-footed challenge on Ilkay Gundogan, with Kai Havertz tucking away the resulting penalty.

Niclas Fuellkrug powered in a fourth midway through the second half after coming on as a substitute and not even a late own goal from Antonio Ruediger could spoil an otherwise perfect start to the campaign for Germany.


There was even time for Emre Can to add a fifth goal with the final kick of the game.

Germany fans in the fan park celebrate after Florian Wirtz scores their first goal. —  Reuters
Germany fans in the fan park celebrate after Florian Wirtz scores their first goal. — Reuters

Scotland could surely not have envisioned such a disastrous beginning, but they must regroup quickly with games to come in Group A against Switzerland and Hungary.

After three successive failures at major tournaments, including back-to-back group stage exits at the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, this was a strong statement of intent from an experienced Germany side.

It is Germany's first men's major tournament as hosts since the 2006 World Cup, and they are looking to recreate the magic that helped rekindle the passion for the national team after a spell in the international doldrums.

Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann had spoken of his players' hunger to atone for the failures of recent times, with the outlook improving and optimism gradually increasing since his appointment in September.

His counterpart Steve Clarke on the other hand urged Scotland to "fear no one" going into the country's second straight Euros after more than two decades in the international wilderness.

It is just Scotland's second major tournament since 1998. They returned to the big stage at Euro 2020 but finished bottom of the group.

Scotland fans look dejected after Germany's Emre Can scores their fifth goal. —  Reuters
Scotland fans look dejected after Germany's Emre Can scores their fifth goal. — Reuters

With kilts, bagpipes and beers in hand, Scots took over the central Marienplatz square, Munich's cultural heart.

Across Germany even cities not hosting games have set up viewing areas with big screens and refreshments readily available for the month of football to follow.

In Berlin, the country's capital, the iconic Brandenburg Gate has been turned into the "largest football goal in the world", according to organisers, with a green-carpeted fan mile to be filled by tens of thousands for the Scotland clash.

On Saturday, Hungary take on Switzerland in Cologne in the other match in the section before Spain play Croatia in the opening Group B game in Berlin.

Reigning champions Italy round out the action on day two against Albania in Dortmund.

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