Scotland on the Verge of Euro 2024 Qualification, Yet Ryan Porteous Remains Suspended

    Ryan Porteous believes the Tartan Army have every right to be nervous about Scotland’s prospects at Euro 2024 but insists the team must remain focused.

    The 24-year-old Watford centre-back scored his first international goal in a comfortable 3-0 win over Cyprus in Larnaca on Friday night as Steve Clarke’s side made it five Group A qualifying wins from their opening five matches.

    That close-range strike was sandwiched between Scott McTominay’s sixth goal in five games and midfielder John McGinn’s delightful goal – his 17th for Scotland – as several thousand traveling fans sang about him making it to Germany next summer.

    Scotland will play England in a special 150th anniversary match at Hampden Park on Tuesday night, and if Norway and Georgia play a qualifier in Oslo the same evening, the Scots will qualify for their second European Championship in a row – with games against Spain, Georgia and Norway. still come to finish the job if necessary.

    Porteous said: “We always dreamed of going there, even before the games started.

    “The fans have every right to be worried. There have probably been plenty of instances with Scotland teams in the past where they weren’t there.

    “They can look ahead and get carried away, but we as a group have to stay level-headed because we have a big game coming up on Tuesday and there are many more big games to come.”

    Clarke insisted his favorite moment of the evening at the AEK Arena was when Porteous rushed in in stoppage time to block Cyprus’ shot and keep a clean sheet.

    The former Hibernian defender was also pleased that the home side stayed away but scored his first goal in the dark blue kit.

    “The coach said my tackling was better than my goal,” he said.

    “It was a dream that came true and I achieved my goal.

    “I really enjoyed it and I saw them miss a lot of chances but luckily the ball went in.” I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity to score my first goal for Scotland. It was a brilliant feeling.

    “I probably should have headed the ball against Georgia.

    “Austin McPhee (coach) wanted me to play against Cyprus and luckily I did.

    “The coach was with us at half-time to keep a clean sheet.

    “He said this is the most important thing, this is what he wanted because after this you will win the game.

    “This is a great group to be a part of and long may it continue.”

    McGinn believes the win was a “huge three points” for Scotland but he also urged caution.

    He said: “It’s hard to contain it, but we’ll have to do it. Mathematically, we are not there yet.

    “Obviously there’s a game on Tuesday that could decide whether they qualify or not.

    “And then if Norway or Georgia win we’ll go to Spain (for the next qualifier) ​​so as much as we’re very excited we’ve put ourselves in a great position but we’re not quite there yet.

    “We’re so, so close, but we’re not there yet.”

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