Football fans across Aberdeen were left “heartbroken” after Scotland lost their first game of Euro 2020 – but pledged to stand “behind the team no matter what”.
Scotland’s national team went head to head with the Czech Republic on Monday afternoon in their Euro 2020 opener, after qualifying for a tournament for the first time in 23 years.
Hundreds of football fans across the north and north-east were holding their breaths as the country’s players came up short at Hampden Park.
‘I will always support Scotland, but that game was poor’
However, fans in Aberdeen were left “heartbroken” as the game finished with a score of 2-0 to the rival team.
Declan Fowler and his friends watched the game in Soul and were rooting for their country to “show full character” and make a long-awaited return to international football.
But the result came as a big blow to the 19-year-old, who said he was “disappointed” with the game.
Mr Fowler said: “I love football and I love my country, so losing a game like that is just heartbreaking.
“It was dire and really brutal. It was terrible – I can’t put it any other way.
“I’m 19, so I haven’t seen Scotland playing in the Euros in my lifetime, but my dad has been waiting 23 years for this and was sat at home watching that game and I can’t even imagine what he way saying at that TV.
“And he won’t be the only one.
“You’ve got a nation sitting there watching that game and plenty of people who have been waiting 23 years for a game that we just bottled, when we should have won.
“I will always support my country, but that game was just poor.
“I feel like I’ve lived a lifetime watching Scotland and they’ve put me through so much pain and anger.
“When we qualified I had some hope and I thought we’re going to give everything we’ve got and show full character – and we’ve just not done that.”
‘We will stand behind our team no matter what’
Elsewhere, fan Angus Hood shared the same feelings of disappointment with the game he watched in O’Neills Aberdeen.
The 29-year-old design engineer from Aberdeen said: “I thought Scotland played pretty well overall – we started strong and had a few decent chances, but we wasted them and it’s a bit disappointing.
“I was hoping that Scotland would pull through, and it’s the first game, so if they had won they would have put a big statement and would have meant quite a lot.
“We’ve never got past the group stages before, so there aren’t many expectations for the next game, but there is a little bit of hope.
“Scottish fans are behind the team every single time no matter what we’re doing, so we are all going to be gutted if it doesn’t happen.”
Despite the disappointment with the first game, Mr Hood and his friend Callum Ewen, 27, said they are “thrilled” to even witness their national team play in the championship and will “always support” them.
Mr Ewen added: “It’s our first time that we can witness it so we are buzzing just to be in it.
“That in itself is an achievement, so anything above that is just a bonus.
“We are in it just to get behind the team and have a good time – that’s the main thing.”
Steve Clarke’s side are in Group D along with “Auld Enemy” England, Croatia and the Czechs.
Following the game with the Czech Republic, the national team will be squaring off with England at Wembley on Friday followed by Croatia on Tuesday next week.