Paul Ince’s cheap shot. Arsene Wenger’s goodwill. Kevin Keegan’s Braehead confession. One in every of Scotland’s most comely failures.
It be been two a long time since the Euro 2000 play-offs, when the Scots received 1-0 at Wembley to reach help achingly shut to reversing a 2-0 defeat at Hampden in the Euro 2000 play-offs.
As it was once, England proceeded to the finals in Belgium and Netherlands, nonetheless Craig Brown’s aspect produced one amongst the supreme outcomes and performances in Scottish football history 20 years ago on Sunday.
To contemplate on the that combustible two-legged affair, BBC Scotland spoke to just a few of those concerned referring to the Scotland camp on the time.
After the perimeters had been drawn in the identical crew on the previous Euro finals in 1996 – a meeting that England received 2-0 due to the Uri Geller’s mind tricks and Paul Gascoigne’s marvel intention – there had been calls to assemble global football’s oldest fixture an on a traditional basis event.
These calls had been answered with the play-off plan. Scotland would welcome England to Hampden for the most major leg, with the ‘Auld Enemy’ travelling north as favourites for what promised to be an fable confrontation.
Old Scotland supervisor Craig Brown: “You knew how gigantic the game was once with the query for tickets, it was once unbelievable. We had been all struggling.
“We had been underdogs, nonetheless we had been a in point of fact magnificent defensive crew, so I didn’t judge England would’ve bought two soft targets at Hampden. Paul Lambert bought injured the week sooner than in the Old Company sport, which was once an enormous blow as he would’ve marked Paul Scholes. When Lambert was once at Borussia Dortmund, his unbiased was once to nullify the handiest player of the opposition, so if he played, I don’t judge Scholes would’ve scored twice. That’s my excuse, anyway.”
Old Scotland striker Billy Dodds: “I was once at Dundee United at that level and Paul Sturrock was once my supervisor. I be conscious him winding me up, announcing gigantic Sol Campbell was once going to score me, nonetheless I played if reality be told smartly.
“Of us narrate Hampden’s bought no atmosphere, nonetheless it definitely was once unbelievable that day. We had been appropriate so unhappy. Scholes scored twice after we had been striking stress on and I be conscious pondering “how are we 2-0 down right here?”. When I hit the bar, I knew it wasn’t going to be our day.”
Following the most major-leg defeat at Hampden, the Scotland squad stayed in Troon sooner than heading south to prepare for the 2nd leg at Arsenal’s coaching services. What Brown received’t enjoy expected was once to be handled better in England than he was once in his fatherland.
Brown: “We had been in Troon and a reporter was once pleading with me to assign an interview with him out of doorways. I handiest realised when I watched it on TV later that night that the interview done with the reporter announcing: “If Scotland fail to know at Wembley, it’d be the conclude of the avenue for Craig.” Subsequent component, the digital camera pans from my face to the avenue title the hotel is on – Craigend Street. It was once radiant journalism to be magnificent, nonetheless it definitely was once cruel.
“We then headed down to Arsenal’s coaching floor. We bought positioned on a pitch beside the motorway, which wasn’t if reality be told supreme for the reason that gamers couldn’t hear me, so Arsene Wenger insisted that I moved to his #1 pitch. Going to England as a Scotland crew, you would quiz hostility, nonetheless Wenger couldn’t had been nicer. For sure, he’s no longer English.
“I will be valid, I didn’t quiz to struggle by means of with us trailing 2-0, so all I could narrate to the gamers was once that they wanted to provide the supporters price. I demanded we gave a display hide that represented Scotland smartly and made the Tartan Military proud.”
Scotland would clutch 1-0 at Wembley, striking in a monumental effort to dominate England on their have patch. Nevertheless for David Seaman’s set up from a Christian Dailly header, Scotland would enjoy forced extra-time. The winner came from a first-half of Don Hutchison header. Predominately a midfielder, the premise to play the then West Ham man in assault came from one amongst Brown’s used friends.
Brown: “England brought in Gareth Southgate for Martin Keown and, regardless that Southgate was once a honest footballer, he wasn’t as annoying as Keown, so we moved Hutchison up entrance. I owe the dumb colossal Tommy Burns a range of credit for that. It was once him who tipped me off to play him there.
“I requested Tommy to shield a Scotland B crew to Wales and he told me I needed to strive Hutchison up entrance. He acknowledged he build him up there towards the conclude of the game and he held balls up, he received headers and he was once competitive. I trusted Tommy’s judgement. He told me he would no longer let me down and he was once factual, the fellow scored a success targets away to England and Germany for me.
“Nevertheless the player who was once fully excellent that night was once Barry Ferguson. England had a midfield of Paul Scholes and Paul Ince and Barry ran the game. He was once handiest 21 on the time.”
Old Scotland winger Neil McCann: “We fully outplayed them. You secret agent on the gamers in that England crew and we silent passed them off the pitch apart from working over the tip of them with aggression.
“I be conscious Paul Ince came in with an economical shot, he smashed me out on the road. I was once on my help ready to soar for him and, sooner than I knew it, I had four guys factual there getting a grip of him. After that, I judge they knew we had been down there to assign a bunch on them, because it wasn’t appropriate about potential, there was once a valid grit and resolution. It was once a definite night.”
Even supposing Scotland finally went out 2-1 on combination and therefore failed to reach Euro 2000, they left Wembley with pleasure after striking in a performance that was once great sufficient to point out the tie around. The performance generated wide reward no longer appropriate from the media and fan nonetheless the England camp itself.
Brown: “Tony Adams acknowledged it. He singled me out on the conclude of the game and shook my hand. He complimented our performance and admitted they had been extremely lucky to struggle by means of. I didn’t know him and I had never met him sooner than, so he didn’t want to assign that.
“We won admire. When I will England now, folk silent talk about it and mention how magnificent a crew we had. I don’t score that powerful in Scotland. We had been appropriate unhappy, all I judge is what could’ve been. If the game went on any other 5 minutes, I’m definite we would’ve bought any other intention to shield it to extra-time.”
Dodds: “Nearly 15 years later, I met Kevin Keegan when he had his Soccer Circus up right here in Braehead. I be conscious him announcing: ‘I’ve never been as gratified to listen to a final whistle in all my life. If that had gone to extra-time, we had been done’. And I agreed with him. We fully dominated it. If handiest shall we score one shot to assign it again.”
McCann: “If I could replay one sport from my occupation, it could want to be that night. We deserved it; we had been so shut. That is the one valid disappointment in my occupation.”
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