‘There is no point’ - Man Utd star caught up in international controversy

One Manchester United midfielder can count himself unfortunate not to have made himself a hero during a Euro 2024 qualifier on Thursday night.
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Manchester United star Scott McTominay was at the heart of a controversial moment in Scotland’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Spain.

The Red Devils midfielder has been in fine form for the Tartan Army and went into Thursday night’s game on a high after scoring two late goals in United’s dramatic 2-1 home win against Brentford just five days earlier.

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McTominay looked to have given Scotland a shock lead in Seville when his thunderous free-kick from a tight angle beat everyone in a crowded area before nestling into the top right-hand corner of Unai Simon’s goal. However, the goal was controversially and confusingly chalked off after a VAR review – although there was some debate over whether the decision had been made after an offside or a foul had been spotted.

Scotland defender Jack Hendry was initially said to have been punished for a foul on Simon – but UEFA later confirmed the decision had been taken because the centre-back was offside and interfering with play. Scotland manager Steve Clarke hit out at the decision as his side fell to a 2-0 defeat that delayed confirmation over their qualification for next year’s Euro 2024 Finals.

"At the time, we think it is a goal," explained Clarke in his post-match press conference. "You know when the referee gets told to look at it, he is probably going to chalk it off. They have made the call, there is no point in me going on about it. I think there was a little bit of confusion at the time, whether it was offside or for a foul on the keeper.

"If you take those two together, Jack Hendry was marginally offside and when he steps towards the goalkeeper, they have interpreted that as Jack being involved in the play, but I will tell you now there is no way in the world the keeper was saving that, no matter where Jack Hendry was.

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"You just move on. It is a VAR decision that goes against you. When we conceded, it makes it more difficult, and the second goal puts gloss on for Spain I don’t think they deserve."

Scotland can still qualify for the Euro 2024 Finals this weekend if Spain emerge unbeaten from their visit to third-placed Norway on Sunday. Should the hosts claim all three points, Clarke’s side will be able to seal their own fate when they face Georgia and Norway in the final international break of the year next month.

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