Scotland robbed of Euro 2008 qualification?

What a weekend! I’m gutted, but Scotland have done us proud.

Hampden Park, Saturday, 5.00 pm, after a few preparatory beers, we stood waiting for the teams to take the field. One way or another, Scotland’s Euro 2008 qualification was going to be decided. With a capacity crowd, 48,000+ Tartan Army footsoldiers were looking forward to a memorable Scotland victory.

It all started badly. No sooner was the game underway than our defence were under attack. And, after a mere 70 seconds Italy’s Luca Toni scored! Tragedy! And, despite Scotland efforts to equalise that was how the first half ended. I’m not sure what half-time entertainment they provided, but I’d lost any interest in anything but the match at hand and the dire situation that existed. Could Scotland turn it around?

Barry Ferguson scores for Scotland

The second half kicked off. Scotland were transformed. They seemed to have stepped up a gear and compared to the first half, this time Scotland were the more commanding team. Scotland had most of the possession and it seemed they were almost definitely destined to score. And they did. In the 65th minute Barry Ferguson fired the ball into the net to equal the result. Now Scotland had a chance! Could they finish the job?

Manuel Enrique Mejuto González - Man in need of an opticianScotland played magnificently. The continued to play the better football, firing the ball at the Italy goal numerous times. Unfortnately, the ball refused to go in the net. Then came the final tragedy and last insult of what had seemed, to me at least (and a few thousand others?), a catalogue to questionable decisions. Referee Manuel Enrique Mejuto González awarded Italy a free-kick, for what was blatantly an Italy offence (WTF!), and Christian Panucci converted it to give the Italians the victory they needed.

Manuel Enrique Mejuto González
blind or just stupid?

We were gutted. Scotland had come so close. And to lose in such questionable circumstances was even worse. That said, Scotland are now a much more-respected side and no country is going to look on a clash with Scotland lightly. Plus we are now second seeds for the World Cup 2010 draw that is to take place later this month. We’re not going to Austria, but let’s get ready for a trip to South Africa in 3 years time!

One Response to “Scotland robbed of Euro 2008 qualification?”

  1. I think “robbed” is the right word, even if the Italians played well, had a goal chalked off, and Ferguson was marginally offside for our goal! As you say, we were fantastic. Roll on the World Cup draw!

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