Germany vs Scotland: Gordan Strachan praises 'fantastic fans' as Tartan Army watch Scots push World Cup champions all the way

Watford's Ikechi Anya levelled the scores midway through the second half but a second Thomas Muller strike gave Germany an opening win

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The Independent Football

Gordon Strachan praised the Tartan Army for their support in Scotland's 2-1 European Championship qualifying defeat to Germany in Dortmund on Sunday night and expressed his desire to reach the finals as a thank you.

The Scots have not been to a major finals since the 1998 World Cup in France but there were many more than the 5,000 Scotland fans who had bought their tickets through official sources in the Signal Iduna Park and they gave their side terrific backing.

It looked like it was going to be a long night for them and Strachan's side when Thomas Muller headed the opener for the home side after 18 minutes of a one-sided first-half in which the visitors found themselves constantly on the back foot.

However, Scotland were a different side after the break and when fans' favourite Ikechi Anya levelled in the 66th minute following a swift break there was a brief hope of a point, if not more, until Muller swiftly restored the home side's lead after a mix-up in the Scots' penalty area.

Germany 2 Scotland 1 match report

The game ended in more disappointment when midfielder Charlie Mulgrew was sent off for picking up two yellow cards, the second for kicking the ball away, but through his general frustration of the result and the performance of Norwegian referee Sven Oddvar Moen, Strachan made a point of thanking the supporters.

 

"How good were our fans?" he said. "They made the occasion fantastic and are one of the reasons we have to get to a major finals.

"At 1-1 I believed we could win the game

"We had to adjust after 20 minutes and settle down a bit.

"The Germans are always going to have more chances that goes without saying, but at 1-1 I genuinely believed we could win the game. We played with no fear."

Ikechi-Anya.jpgThe former Celtic manager refused to blame his players for sloppy marking at both German goals.

He said: "When you are dealing with an exceptional machine like Muller then you will have a problem.

"If you can find me a player at six foot four and who can jump about eight feet which Muller can, the goals are avoidable but we don't have anybody to do that and neither do most countries in the world.

"We should be proud of what we did after we sorted out the first 20 minutes."

Germany boss Joachim Low was happy to emerge from his first Group D game with a victory.

Muller.jpg
Thomas Muller opens the scoring for Germany

He said: "I am happy with the three points, that was my main expectations of the players.

"I knew it would be difficult. Scotland had not lost in a year.

"The first half we controlled, we pressed them back, we didn't give them many chances and we managed to get a lot of chances ourselves.

"We lost a little bit of control of the game in the second-half, Scotland scored but we reacted well and came back and scored.

"So, as I say, I am happy with the three points."

PA

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