Can Scotland still qualify for knockout stage of Euros? What team needs for last 16 after Switzerland draw

The permutations for progress after the draw with Swiss

Scotland's hopes of progressing to the knock-out stages of Euro 2024 have grown after the 1-1 draw with Switzerland in Cologne.

Following on from Scotland's 5-1 defeat by Germany in Munich on the opening night of the tournament, Steve Clarke's men ideally needed at least a point to give themselves a fighting chance of finishing in the top three and being able to make the last 16. And on the banks of the Rhine, the match finished 1-1 to leave Group A delicately poised.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

One thing is for sure: Germany have qualified. They sit on six points after defeating Hungary 2-0 earlier on Wednesday and are top of the group. Switzerland are in second on four points, with Scotland third on one point and the Hungarians bottom of the pile with zero points.

Billy Gilmour of Scotland applauds the fans as he leaves the pitch.Billy Gilmour of Scotland applauds the fans as he leaves the pitch.
Billy Gilmour of Scotland applauds the fans as he leaves the pitch. | Getty Images

Scotland's final match is against Hungary in Stuttgart on Sunday at 8pm, while Germany v Switzerland is on at the same time. Should Switzerland earn a draw against the hosts, they will finish on five points and be guaranteed second place.

It is more complicated for Scotland. If they defeat Hungary on Sunday, they will be on four points and could overtake Switzerland on goal difference should they lose to Germany. A draw would leave Scotland on two points and guaranteed a third-place finish, while a defeat would move Hungary above them and eliminate them from the tournament.

Finishing third in the group could be enough for Scotland. There are six groups in the competition and the four best third-placed finishers ranked in terms of points and then goal difference will take their place in the last 16. Two teams that finish third will miss out and go home.

It is important that Scotland finish with the strongest number of points possible to give themselves the best chance of progressing. Two points would leave them vulnerable, while four points is likely to be enough - although that is not set in stone either. As Scotland are in Group A, their matches finish first, so there is a scenario whereby Scotland must anxiously watch the other groups to conclude before knowing their fate. The last set of group matches conclude on Wednesday, June 26.

As always, it is never straightforward with Scotland. But after the draw against Switzerland, there is renewed optimism of Scotland going beyond the group stages of a major tournament for the first time. The Hungary game is massive for Steve Clarke and his players now.

Related topics:



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.