Modric Masterclass Shows Up Scotland's Shortcomings
Muhammad Irfan 1 month ago Wed 23rd June 2021 | 09:40 AM
Glasgow, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 23rd Jun, 2021 ) :After a 23-year wait to qualify for a major tournament, Scotland's Euro 2020 experience lasted just eight days after a 3-1 defeat to Croatia extinguished their hopes of reaching the last 16.
"They were unbelievable tonight, Modric especially," said Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney, who is accustomed to coming up against world-class opponents on a weekly basis in the Englihs Premier League.
With both sides needing a win to secure their place in the knockout stages after taking just one point from their opening two games, Croatia's greater experience in controlling their nerves across 90 minutes was telling.
After conceding early to Nikola Vlasic, Scotland struck back with their first goal of the tournament through Callum McGregor to go in level at half-time.
But their energy reserves ran dry in the second-half as Croatia kept the ball and finally ended the Scots' resistance in style.
The 35-year-old, playing in his 62nd game of the season for club and country, received the ball on the edge of the box and fired into the top corner with the outside of his right foot.
"We expect that Luka will go down, lose his strength, but he is the force that pulls the whole team. He never gives up." Manager Steve Clarke said Scotland will need to follow that example with the 2022 World Cup less than 18 months away.
However, Clarke was keen to stress the progress Scotland have made in his two years in charge since a humiliating 3-0 defeat to Kazakhstan ended Alex McLeish's reign as manager at the start of Euro 2020 qualifying.
"Tonight we were against a team that are tournament hardened and who knew how to play the third game in the group -- and we probably didn't. That's why we are going home and Croatia are going through," he said.
After a lacklustre opening two games, Dalic complained his side had been unfairly written off back home.
"We were not happy with performances in the first two matches and we knew we could be better," said Modric.
"When we play like this, we are dangerous to everyone."