Scotland wilted in the face of a scorching Germany performance as Steve Clarke’s 10-man side opened Euro 2024 with a dismal defeat in Munich.

The tone was set in an electric Allianz Arena after just 10 minutes as Florian Wirtz waltzed on to the ball to steer in the opener.

Jamal Musiala’s ferocious strike almost punctured Angus Gunn’s net, as well as the hearts of the mass of stunned Scots behind the goal, just nine minutes later.

And before the break Kai Havertz slammed in the third from the spot with Ryan Porteous’ red card leaving Scotland with the tallest of mountains to climb.

There was still time for substitute Niclas Fullkrug to hammer high into the net for Germany’s fourth, with Antonio Rudiger’s late deflected own goal pulling one back.

It was a strike celebrated wildly by the suffering Scotland crowd, only for Emre Can to mute those in dark blue as the game edged into injury time.

That ensured this would be the biggest win an an opening game of a Euros.

Hosts galvanised by fine showing

This was a German procession which – despite Scotland’s deficiencies – will galvanise the host nation into believing again.

When Nagelsmann took over of the national team in September, the three-time winners of this tournament drew with Mexico and lost to Turkey and Austria in an inauspicious start. The public were far from convinced.

However, victories over France and the Netherlands helped carry them into this on a wave of hope.

Wirtz’s early effort was the culmination of patience and territory dominance. Strikes from Musiala and Fullkrug emphatic evidence of a team brimming with confidence.

The former was unplayable at times, and Toni Kroos was back pulling the strings in midfield.

The stats behind this obliteration were frightening. A 94% passing accuracy, 43 attacks, 19 attempts, 655 passes completed to Scotland’s 193. They also covered 9km more than their beleagured opponents.

There will be plenty looking nervously at the hosts this summer.

Scotland left with more finals regrets

No regrets and time to become legends were the battle cries from confident Scotland captain Andy Robertson on Thursday.

But little over 24 hours later, it was nothing but a familiar lament which carried the Scotland fans into the dark Bavarian night.

Every nation has its own hard-luck story but, despite being fuelled with a sense they failed to do themselves justice in the last European Championships, Clarke’s side never truly competed with Julian Nagelsmann’s vibrant hosts.

The warning signs were there from the first minute. The surging off-the-shoulder runs, the intense press, the exposed high line being plundered repeatedly.

Porteous’ dreadful red for a two-footed challenge on Ilkay Gundogan only confirmed what everyone inside the ground knew was coming.

Scotland scored with their only effort on goal as Scott McKenna’s effort struck Rudiger to wrong foot Manuel Neuer.

Such bluntness will be of huge concern given goal difference may be key if Clarke can conjure more from his team in their two remaining games against Switzerland and Hungary.

Kesh Awefada

Kesh Awefada

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