Euro 2024: Host Germany thrashes Scotland for dream start to tournament

Euro 2024: Host Germany thrashes Scotland for dream start to tournament

Updated Jun. 14, 2024 6:43 p.m. ET

Germany's collection of emerging stars gave their country a dream start to Euro 2024, with Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz spearheading a 5-1 demolition of Scotland in the tournament opener in Munich.

Despite mixed performances over the past year, the host nation sent out a clear warning to their rivals, surging into an early lead and never looking back to move immediately into the top spot in Group A.

Wirtz, the German Bundesliga player of the year thanks to his magnificent season for undefeated champion Bayer Leverkusen, kept a cool head to deliver the first after only 10 minutes.


Collecting the ball on the edge of the area, Wirtz fired hard and low, and goalkeeper Angus Gunn could only parry in onto the post and in.

Musiala, also just 21 and coming off a big season for Bayern Munich, lashed home the second on 19 minutes. Kai Havertz selflessly slid the ball into his path, Musiala took two neat touches to freeze his defender, and easily beat Gunn.

Germany vs. Scotland Highlights

Scotland's already difficult plight became essentially impossible before halftime. Ryan Porteous's crude two-footed challenge connected above Ilkay Gundogan's ankle and video referral resulted in both a red card and a penalty, which was comfortably slotted home by Havertz.

After the break, Scotland mostly went into damage control mode, hoping to avoid an even more lopsided scoreline going into games against Switzerland and Hungary next week.

Germany head coach Julian Nagelsmann had the luxury of resting some key players and made use of his bench. As Musiala came off, having engineered so much of Germany's attacking threat throughout, teammate Antonio Rudiger walked over and raised the youngster's hands in appreciation.

One of the subs was Niclas Fullkrug, and he made a quick impact, a thunderous shot hitting the net midway through the second half to make it four. Fullkrug had another ruled out for offside as things threatened to become embarrassing for the Scots, who'd enjoyed such uplifting success in qualifying, including a home victory over Spain.

A late own goal by Rudiger made little difference to the tone of opening night and Emre Can restored the four-goal margin with a strike from the edge of the box in injury-time, to record Germany's biggest win in Euros history.

Nagelsmann's squad could not have asked for a better start, and elicited some memories of the 2006 World Cup, which Germany also hosted and rode the wave of a big opening game victory over Costa Rica to spark a run to the semifinals.

One thing became very clear from this night, however. For all the experience in the Germany squad, with Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller and Manuel Neuer still heavily involved, it is the young brigade led by Musiala and Wirtz that holds the keys to its continued success.

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports. Follow him on Twitter @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the daily newsletter.

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