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Five-star Germany run rampant over Scotland in Euro opener

Niclas Fullkrug Germany Niclas Fullkrug, Germany celebrate - The Canadian Press

It was dreamland for the hosts and a nightmare for their opponents as Germany opened Euro 2024 with a 5-1 rout of Scotland.

The Tartan Army was reduced to 10 men late in the first half when Watford's Ryan Porteous saw a straight red for a hard challenge on Ilkay Gundogan.

Germany turned on the jets from almost the opening whistle, dominating possession in the opening minutes. They were rewarded for their work only 10 minutes in.

The retiring Toni Kroos, who operated at will for most of the match, spotted Joshua Kimmich on the left with a fine pass. The Bayern Munich man, playing in his home stadium, then centred for the trailing Florian Wirtz to beat Angus Gunn with a low shot to make it 1-0. While Gunn did get a piece of the shot, he was late to it and, perhaps, should have done better. The goal made the 21-year-old Wirtz's Germany's youngest ever goal scorer at a Euro.

Under 10 minutes later it was another 21-year-old who found the scoresheet in the form of Jamal Musiala. And once again, it was Kroos who got things started. The outgoing Real Madrid legend sent a beautiful ball to unlock the Scotland backline for Kai Havertz. The Arsenal forward held up before finding Musiala to unleash a hard shot past Gunn to make it 2-0 in the 19th.

Things went from bad to worse for the Scots in the closing minutes of the half. After Gundogan was denied by Gunn from close range, Porteous came hard through the Barcelona midfielder with an attempted clearance. Following a VAR check, Germany was awarded a penalty and Porteous was sent off. Havertz stepped up to take and wrong-wayed Gunn to make it 3-0.

It was the first time since France in 1984 that a team scored three first-half goals at a Euro.

Scotland attempted damage control in the opening minutes of the second half, trying to limit the bleeding as goal differential could loom large when it comes to progressing into the knockout round.

Wirtz probably should have had a second from close range, but sent his effort over the bar. Second-half substitute Leroy Sané had a chance only moments after coming onto the pitch, but his effort was tame and directly at Gunn.

Substitute Niclas Fullkrug joined the party in the 68th, five minutes after coming on. Set up by Gundogan just inside the area, the Borussia Dortmund boomed home a tremendous right-footed volley to make it 4-0. It was the 31-year-old Fullkrug's 12th international goal in 17 appearances.

Minutes later, Fullkrug thought he had a second, but he was ruled offside in the build-up following a VAR check.

In the dying minutes of the half, Manuel Neuer was denied a clean sheet. From a set piece, Scott McKenna's header was deflected by the Real defender's head and past his former Bayern teammate to make it 4-1 in the 87th.

A late injury replacement to the roster, Emre Can wrapped up the scoring with a goal from distance in stoppage to make it 5-1.

Both teams return to action on Wednesday. Scotland takes on Switzerland, while Germany meets Hungary.

Hungary and Switzerland complete Group A's Matchday 1 on Saturday.