EURO 2020: England and Scotland set to renew old rivalry
Scotland lost its opening game 2-0 to the Czech Republic at Hampden Park on Monday and need something out of the game against England to keep its hopes of advancing alive
Harry Kane broke Scottish hearts in a FIFA World Cup qualifier four years ago, a goal still very memorable for the England captain.
Kane, 27, is looking to stick it to Scotland again Friday at Euro 2020, when the two teams face each other in a Group D encounter (3 p.m. ET, TSN) at Wembley Stadium.
“That was one of my favourite goals I’ve scored in an England shirt, for sure,” Kane said Thursday. “The atmosphere that day was incredible really, and the noise after Scotland went 2-1 up was crazy. And for all of a sudden for us to score and see the away fans (celebrate) was obviously a great feeling.
“Of course, it would be great to be able to do that again tomorrow if it means us trying to win and help the team. For sure that’s one of my favourite goals, it was my first game as captain of England as well, so that holds a special place in my heart.”
Kane scored deep into second-half stoppage time to rescue England in a 2-2 tie that day in 2017 at Hampden Park in Glasgow, which is also being used as one of the 11 venues of the Euro tournament.
Scotland lost its opening game 2-0 to the Czech Republic at Hampden Park on Monday and need something out of the game against England to keep its hopes of advancing alive.
England defeated Croatia 1-0 in its opener at Wembley on Sunday, fanning the flames of optimism this could finally be the year to win a major competition since 1966.
“I think we have a great opportunity to do it,” Kane said. “For me we have a great team, we’re in a good place, we’re still working hard and we still have room for improvement. But for me, I’m excited for what’s to come.”
England and Scotland are longtime rivals and have met more than 100 times over the years. England holds the edge, winning 48 games, while Scotland has 41 victories, with 25 draws.
There was a time when England against Scotland was one of the games of the season, but the rivalry is not what it used to be.
“I think younger generations probably have a different view on those old rivalries,” England coach Gareth Southgate said. “Of course, the history of the games when we were growing up, the home internationals were one of the few games you saw live at the end of the season and England-Scotland every year was a massive occasion.
“Now it’s played less regularly, and obviously lots of the players are friends within their clubs, and we know the rivalry. But I think I certainly haven’t felt the need to build that up with the players, I want them to approach it like any other game of football and focus on playing well.”
There was not a lot of talk regarding the Netherlands heading into the tournament, but that may be changing after another win, defeating Austria 2-0 on Thursday.
Memphis Depay scored on a penalty in the 11th minute and Denzel Dumfries added a second in the 67th minute to lift the Netherlands into top spot in Group C, where they can’t be caught. Netherlands has a game left against North Macedonia and then will play its Round of 16 game against a third-place finisher on June 27 in Budapest, Hungary.
“It’s nice to be going to the next phase of the tournament, so I’m very pleased with that,” Netherland coach Frank De Boer said. “But I think there are still a lot of things that we can improve. We showed a lot of good qualities today, especially defensively we were much better than we were against Ukraine and on the ball we could have done better.”
Netherlands went into the tournament a team in transition with a relatively young squad after failing to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Defender Daley Blind, 31, is the oldest outfield player on De Boer’s squad, who defeated Ukraine 3-2 in its opening game.
“Overall, I thought it was a decent performance today and that gives me a lot of confidence for the next games,” De Boer said. “I don’t want to talk about (tournament) favourites, we have to do our best and I know if we play our best, we can beat anybody, but other teams are thinking the same and we’ll see where it ends.”