Scotland beat Spain to blow away the winter blues in dramatic style – Laura Waddell

What unexpected joy is this? Not only did the clocks going back coincide with a rare bright sunny day – where I was at least, admiring views from Bellahouston Park – but when the weather did click back to miserable-for-the-foreseeable, it was just in time for Scotland to beat Spain 2-0 in the European Championship qualifiers.

That’s what happens after Scotland gets a hearty dose of vitamin D. Dopamine absolutely pings off the scale. Steve Clark looks happy. As well he deserves to after such a gobsmacking result for his team. Double-scorer Scott McTominay said: “The manager said this is our chance to create legacies as Scotland players and these are the nights in 20, 30 years that people remember.”

In the second half, I could barely take the hope, so I’ll remember what I saw in between finding reasons to fetch things from other rooms, and once we as a nation collectively get over the shock that we actually won this one. The team is bolstered by its stars-in-the-making players; notable in this game was a spectacular breakaway by Kieran Tierney that led to the second goal.

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Scotland has been playing sharply, beating Cyprus 3-0 in the first qualifier last Saturday, but let’s be real: Spain last lost a qualifier for the European Championships in 2014, and bookies will be paying out to more than a few gamblers who thought they’d seen it all before and had little hope in their hearts but a few quid for a patriotic punt. It paid off.

I’ve reached the stage in my sporadic football watching to start taking an interest in the stats, a place in life I never expected to find myself. Tuesday at Hampden Park, in all its dreichness, was a history-making night. The last time Scotland beat Spain was in 1984, before I was born – and I’m feeling my age these days, not least because I’ve learned the youngest Scotland players were born after the millennium and I knew one of their aunties in my bygone club-going era.

March can be a challenging month for many, the last days of winter often dreary. I’d been looking forward to what an extra hour of daylight might do for mental health. Turns out there’s no mood booster like a bloody big win that we’d barely dared to dream of.



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