Scotland, Hungary clash in do-or-die battle for Euro 2024 knockout dreams

Scotland, Hungary clash in do-or-die battle for Euro 2024 knockout dreams

Eric Munene 11:06 - 23.06.2024

The two teams face a must-win scenario to progress at Euro 2024 with historic stakes and key players pivotal.

As the Euro 2024 Group A reaches its climactic final round, Scotland and Hungary find themselves in a high-stakes showdown where only victory will suffice to keep their tournament hopes alive.

Both teams have struggled to make an impact so far, with Scotland managing a hard-fought draw against Switzerland, while Hungary suffered consecutive defeats.

Scotland's journey in this tournament has been marked by highs and lows. After a demoralizing 5-1 loss to Germany in their opener, manager Steve Clarke's unconventional blend of "cuddles and kicked backsides" seemed to rejuvenate the team, earning them a crucial point against Switzerland.

However, their spirits were dampened by the loss of key defender Kieran Tierney to injury, ruling him out of the decisive clash with Hungary.

The Scots have never progressed past the group stage in a major tournament, making this match a historic opportunity.

On the other hand, Hungary, despite being tipped as potential dark horses, have struggled to live up to expectations.

Marco Rossi's side, buoyed by a strong qualifying campaign, have faltered in the finals with two consecutive defeats, including a frustrating 2-0 loss to Germany.

The Magyars will need to rediscover the resilience that almost saw them through the 'group of death' in the last Euros, where they faced France, Portugal, and Germany.

Key players will be pivotal in this encounter. Scotland will look to midfielder Scott McTominay, who has been a bright spot with his goal-scoring prowess.

Meanwhile, Hungary will rely on captain Dominik Szoboszlai to inspire them, especially since the team has a strong record of not losing when he scores.

Hungary's recent form in Euro competitions has been concerning, with an eight-match winless streak and a notable struggle to keep clean sheets.

Overcoming these challenges against a determined Scottish side will require a significant turnaround in performance and mindset.

For Scotland, it's a chance to break the curse of past failures and reach uncharted territory in major tournament history.

For Hungary, it's about redemption and proving their worth on the European stage once more. The stage is set for a gripping encounter where resilience, tactics, and the ability to seize crucial moments will determine who advances to the knockout stages of Euro 2024.