Scotland made history last night in the play-off finals, beating bookmakers’ favourite Serbia to secure a place in the European Championships next summer. The victory will see the Scots compete in their first major tournament since 1998, after they failed to qualify for the past 10 World and European Championships.

After agonizingly conceding a goal by Luka Jovic in the 90th minute, which levelled out Ryan Christie’s second-half opener, the two sides battled on in a tantalizing 30 minutes of extra-time, which was unable to separate them. A faultless penalty shoot-out performance was needed by the Scots, and they did not disappoint- scoring an impeccable 5 out of 5.

 All eyes fell on Serbian legend Aleksandar Mitrovic, as his nation’s European hopes depended on the ball ending up in the back of the net. But Scotland’s goalkeeper David Marshall got a strong hand to it, sending his country into the European finals, and his teammates sprinting to the stands, celebrating with the fans in spirit if not in person.

Scotland manager Steve Clarke said “The whole nation can be proud- but nobody can be prouder than the players on the pitch because they were magnificent. This puts us back on the map and in a big tournament.”

A Scottish-English showdown is set to take place, as both teams will enter into Group D of the finals next year in the British Isles, along with Czech Republic and Croatia. Scotland’s first test will come on 14th June 2021 against Czech Republic, in which they’ll have the chance to break further records, as the team endeavour to reach the knockout stage of a major tournament for the first time in history.

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Gareth Southgate also commented on the success: “Firstly, to congratulate Steve Clarke. I think he’s a super guy and I’m really pleased for him and Scotland. It’s been a long time for them. They’ve got some young players coming through, and a team improving really quickly.”

The England manager adds that he hopes fans will be able to return to stadiums for the Euros next year, saying “Let’s hope we’re a full house. That would be a super occasion.”

Unlike Scotland, however, Northern Ireland were not so fortunate in their play-off final. The team's hopes of European qualification were shattered last night in Belfast, by a promising Slovakian side. After coming from behind to secure extra-time, a 110th minute goal from substitute, Michael Duris, proved too much for Northern Ireland, who were unable to respond with another equalizer.

Euros 2020, which were postponed by a year due to Coronavirus, will take place between 11th June and 11th July 2021.