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Cyprus vs Scotland. European Championship Qualifying Group A.

AEK ArenaAttendance6,633.

Cyprus 0

    Scotland 3

    • S McTominay (6th minute)
    • R Porteous (16th minute)
    • J McGinn (30th minute)

    Cyprus 0-3 Scotland: Steve Clarke's side on brink of Euro 2024 qualification after fifth straight victory

    Match report as Scotland edge towards Euro 2024 qualification with a 3-0 win in Cyprus; Scott McTominay, Ryan Porteous and John McGinn all scored inside the opening 30 minutes; Steve Clarke's side are nine points clear at the top of Group A

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    Sky Sports' Luke Shanley believes Scotland have the 'right foundations' in their team after a dominant display of five wins out of five in the European qualifiers

    Scotland moved to the brink of Euro 2024 qualification as they made it five straight wins with a 3-0 victory against Cyprus.

    Goals in the opening half hour from Scott McTominay, Ryan Porteous and John McGinn made it a straightfoward night for Steve Clarke's side in the searing heat of the AEK Arena.

    The result means Scotland will secure qualification for next summer's tournament while playing England in a friendly on Tuesday night if Norway and Georgia draw in their qualifier in Oslo.

    Regardless of that result, Scotland only need two points from their final three matches to guarantee a place at back-to-back European Championships.

    Scotland continue to impress

    Steve Clarke is on the verge of leading Scotland to back-to-back Euros
    Image: Steve Clarke is on the verge of leading Scotland to back-to-back Euros

    Scotland could hardly have been in better form going into the match in Larnaca, having gone eight competitive games unbeaten, including wins over Spain and Norway.

    And it seemed like a Scotland home game with more than the official 3,728 Tartan Army members inside the 8,056-capacity stadium.

    Temur Ketsbaia's team had lost their opening three qualifiers, including a 3-0 defeat at Hampden Park in March and so confidence was rightly high in the visiting camp.

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    Che Adams rather than Lyndon Dykes led the Scotland line, closely supported by McGinn and McTominay and they all combined for the opener.

    Scotland's Scott McTominay opens the scoring against Cyprus
    Image: Scotland's Scott McTominay opens the scoring against Cyprus

    A quick Adams throw-in released skipper Andy Robertson down the left and when he stood his cross up, McGinn flicked on inside the six-yard box - it looked like he had miscued it - for McTominay to head in at the back post.

    Cyprus' positive reaction saw striker Pieros Sotiriou hit the bar a minute later, but the offside flag was up, before attacking midfielder Grigoris Kastanos tested Scotland keeper Angus Gunn with a long-range drive.

    In the 13th minute, Kastanos came close with another powerful drive from 25 yards before the Scots doubled their lead.

    Robertson's deep free-kick in to the home penalty area was headed on by Jack Hendry and fellow centre-back Porteous took a touch before firing past Cyprus keeper Joel Mall.

    Ryan Porteous netted his first Scotland goal against Cyprus
    Image: Ryan Porteous netted his first Scotland goal against Cyprus

    Just before the half-hour mark, a fine Scotland move down the right ended with McTominay setting up the unmarked McGinn to curl in his 17th Scotland goal from the edge of the box.

    Scotland were playing with a swagger and McTominay drove just wide from 20 yards before McGinn shot from inside his own half.

    The tension had gone from the game but Kastanos again made Gunn react quickly to save another effort from distance.

    John McGinn celebrates with Scott McTominay
    Image: John McGinn celebrates with Scott McTominay after Scotland's opener

    McTominay almost got a significant touch on a Robertson cross early in the second half as the game began to feel more like a friendly.

    Clarke made changes in the 66th minute with Kenny McLean and Dykes on for Billy Gilmour and Adams.

    Scotland bossed the final stages and in the 74th minute McTominay's right-footed shot from the edge of the box beat Mall but rebounded off the post, before Stuart Armstrong, Nathan Patterson and Ryan Christie made cameo appearances.

    England are up next up, and that is always a massive game for Scotland, but the Tartan Army will have one eye on the result in Oslo on the same night to see if their appearance in the Euro finals in Germany are confirmed, although that may just be a matter of time.

    Clarke: We're not there yet

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    Scotland manager Steve Clarke believes his side can be a match for anybody but is adamant that his side don't get carried away despite an impressive five wins from five games at the start of European Championships qualifying

    Scotland manager Steve Clarke:

    "We work on the philosophy of game to game, game to game.

    "We've had a run of competitive matches that we've won but I don't look that far back. I know in this campaign we've played five and we've got 15 points. That's good.

    "I'd like to think that in the last three games, we're going to pick up more points.

    "We just keep trying to push ourselves and not be complacent. You've got the Scottish mentality that there's going to be a hiccup or a bump in the road.

    "We said be different to the previous teams and come here to the pot five team and win again. That's your platform to qualify."

    Mulgrew: Why not dream big!

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    Former Scotland international Charlie Mulgrew says he's positive about Scotland's chances of qualifying for the European Championships in Germany after a 3-0 win over Cyprus continued their perfect start to qualifying

    Former Scotland defender Charlie Mulgrew on Sky Sports News:

    "It's so good to see. You used to see a Scotland team sitting in, defending their box and trying to nick a 1-0.

    "To watch Scotland playing the way they are, in possession, is the most impressive thing.

    "I don't want to jinx it but it's looking like we're going to qualify.

    "When you start to think about getting to the Euros, then you've got to start thinking about getting out the group.

    "Why not dream big, because Scotland notoriously haven't been great at major tournaments or even getting there but now we are."

    What's next?

    Cyprus' next game is a Euro 2024 Qualifier against Spain in Granada on Tuesday - kick-off 7.45pm.

    Scotland now take on England in a friendly at Hampden Park on Tuesday - kick-off 7.45pm.

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