Published on 21 June 2024 at 13:00

A sea of blue dominated the Allianz Arena on the opening day of Euro 2024, as thousands of Scottish bellows erupted the stadium in support for their nation. After a colourful dance routine opened the ceremony, it was followed by the highest scoring opening game of the European Championships ever...

Oh Scotland.

After a resolute introduction typified by Kieran Tierney's war cry after winning a goal kick, Scotland capitulated against a free-flowing Germany side who  stepped up the gears throughout the game. Germany's crown jewels; Florian Wirtz and Jamal Musiala both scored early goals before Kai Havertz opened his account from the penalty spot.

Down to ten men and 3-0 at half-time, this epitomised the Scotland way accustomed to disappointment at the European Championships. Substitutes Niklas Fullkrug and Emre Can took the scoreline to five after a gift of an own goal from Antonio Rudiger to give the Scottish fans something to cheer.

Switzerland reinstated their claim as a darkhorse this summer, after a strong 3-1 display against Hungary in the early kick-off on Day Two. Luis De La Fuente's Spain had been overlooked as tournament favourites going into Euro 2024, but a 3-0 dispatching of an ageing and lethargic Croatia side showed they mean business this summer.

PSG midfielder Fabian Ruiz scored an early contender for goal of the tournament, receiving the ball on the edge of the box before slaloming through the Croatia defence with his delicate footwork to slot in a low driven shot for the second.

In the other Group B game Albania shocked reigning champions Italy, with Nedim Bajrami scoring the fastest goal in Euros history after his 23 second strike. Luciano Spalletti's side quickly responded with two quickfire goals to take a 2-1 lead and a traditionally solid defensive performance in the second-half saw them claim a hard fought win.


Ronald Koeman was leading the Netherlands into his first tournament after his return to the dug-out for the Oranjee. After, consistently underwhelming for Liverpool Cody Gakpo has become Mr Reliable for his country extending his streak of scoring in four consecutive tournament group games in a row.

Depay and Gakpo were both reluctant to depart the pitch against Poland, but Koeman's managerial decision proved decisive as forgotten Burnley striker Wout Weghorst scored a late 88th minute winner.

Day Three, signalled the start of another escapade for England fans as their Euro campaign kicked off against Serbia on Sunday. After Denmark and Slovenia secured a point in the five o'clock kick off all eyes were on Gareth Southgate to deliver.

The inclusion of Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield continued to divide, but despite a shaky performance England got their tournament in Germany off with a win courtesy of a Jude Bellingham header.

One of the games of the first round was surprisingly 46th placed Romania thrashing Ukraine 3-0. Real Madrid goalkeeper Andriy Lunin's mistake gifted Romania the opening opportunity to take the lead and Nicolae Stanciu seized the chance with a curling 25 yard strike.

In the other game of Group E, Belgium succumbed to their first defeat in 15 games losing for the first time since the 2022 World Cup. Romelu Lukaku continued his woes infront of goal in tournaments for the Red Devils seeing one ruled out through VAR and squandering three golden opportunities.

Slovakia rode the Belgium storm with a resolute performance to defend their early one goal lead. Tournament Favourites France did not ease to victory against Austria as expected by many.

Talisman Kylian Mbappe missed a one on one with Patrick Pentz to show the world he really is human, and struggled in France's Euro winner forced off of the pitch with a broken nose.

The 25 year old was given the award for most unsportsmanlike moment, when he re-entered the pitch illegally to stop an Austria attack while France where down to ten men.

N'Golo Kante dazzled in the tightly contested game covering every inch of the pitch and earnt man of the match for his performance.

Georgia were embarking on their first ever European Championships facing a Türkiye side who had lost three of their last four friendlies pre-Euros. The Crescent Stars delivered one of the best games of the group stage with two goal of the tournament contenders.

Sassuolo right-back Mert Muldur latched on to full-back Kadioglu's cross at the back post to strike a sweet volley which nestled in the back of the net, but just seven minutes later Georgia were back level courtesy of Georges Mikautadze.

It was Türkiye's golden boy Arda Guler who made the difference in an exciting game scoring a beautiful goal in the 65th minute, cutting inside to whip a 25 yard screamer into the top right corner.

After two worldies, the game even had goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili coming up for a 96th minute corner only for Türkiye to break and slot the ball into the empty net to seal a 3-1 win.

Portugal earnt the reward for the most forgettable game of Euro 2024 so far, dominating possession against Czechia without challenging Jindrich Stanek's goal at all. Their performance resembled the shocking group stage they had at Euro 2016 where they stuttered into the knockout and we remember how that fairy-tale ended in Paris.

After Czechia stunned the Portuguese with a superb strike from Lukas Provod, the Selecao managed to scrape their way back courtesy of an unfortunate own goal and 92 minute gift taken by Chico Conceicao.

Wednesday signalled Game week Two in the tournament starting with an entertaining 2-2 draw against Albania and Croatia with both teams fates still hanging in the balance.

Germany were the first team to secure their place in the knock-outs failing to suffer any hiccups after a straightforward 2-0 win over Hungary.

Scotland looked a forgot their opening day 5-1 mauling and kickstart their tournament once again, they took the lead against Switzerland. But yet another defensive error which gifted Xerdan Shaqiri an equaliser denied Scotland a much needed win.

Shaqiri became the first player to score in his last six international tournaments, becoming the only player to score at all of the last three European Championships and the last three World Cups.

In group C Serbia broke the hearts of Slovenia equalising in the 96th minute through Luka Jovic, the draw gifted Serbia a lifeline to reach the knockouts.

Gareth Southgate named the same line-up for Denmark, with the Three Lions once again underwhelming as they drew 1-1 to the Danes. It was a passive and ponderous performance which lacked fluidity and purpose. At the end of the game the England players were greeted with a chorus of boos as England fans voiced their frustration.

Spain booked their place in the knock-outs with a dominate performance against Italy, in which they had 20 shots to the Azzuri's 4. De La Fuente's side looks one of the strongest contenders in the tournament at the moment, as their youth play with the shackles off and continue to shine.

Written by Lewis Eadie

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