McTominay overtakes Ronaldo and Kane to top scoring in European qualifying. Scotland stays perfect
Scott McTominay moved ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Kane as the joint leading scorer in European Championship qualifying with Scotland on the brink of securing a place at next year’s tournament.
McTominay continued his unlikely goal spree as the Scots extended their 100% record in Group A by beating Cyprus 3-0 Friday on a night when Lamine Yamal became the youngest player to score for Spain — and also the youngest player to score in a European qualifier — in a 7-1 win against Georgia.
Manchester United midfielder McTominay claimed his sixth goal in qualifying for Euro 2024 as Scotland stayed ahead of Spain in the group on a maximum 15 points after five straight wins.
Scotland needs two more points to ensure its place at the tournament, which will be held in Germany.
McTominay is level at the top of the scoring charts with new United teammate, Rasmus Hojlund of Denmark and former club mate, Romelu Lukaku of Belgium.
Ronaldo and Kane have five goals each.
McTominay has also been involved in more goals than any other player during qualifying, having provided one assist.
He credited Scotland coach Steve Clarke for his goal run.
“The manager gives me a lot of freedom to get in the box, and potentially make things happen,” McTominay said. “He’s shown a lot of faith in me, and I just want to repay him.
“I just want to make people in Scotland happy, that’s my job, and the team’s job, and I think we’re doing it well at the minute.”
McTominay opened the scoring after six minutes at AEK Arena in Larnaca and Ryan Porteous doubled the lead in the 16th.
John McGinn added a third in the 30th.
Scotland will qualify without needing any more points if Norway and Georgia draw on Tuesday.
Spain, in second place, has played two fewer games than Scotland, but is on six points having already lost to the group leader.
Aged 16 years and 57 days, Yamal’s 74th-minute strike against Georgia set two records.
He made history by overtaking Real Madrid and Wales great Gareth Bale as the youngest scorer in European qualifying. Bale was 17 years and 83 days when he scored against Slovakia in 2006.
Yamal is also Spain’s youngest scorer. He broke the record set by Gavi, who was 17 years and 10 months when he scored for his country.
And there were no nerves when his big moment came, with Yamal saying: “I just hit the ball where my body and soul told me to. That’s it.”
Yamal also became the youngest player to appear for Spain, again beating the benchmark set by Gavi in 2021 when he was 17 years and 62 days.
Yamal’s record-breaking night overshadowed Alvaro Morata’s hat trick in the rout against Georgia.
On the day he turned 29, Bruno Fernandes celebrated in style by scoring in Portugal’s 1-0 win against Slovakia.
It’s five wins from five for the Portuguese in Group J, which is the country’s best start to a European qualifying campaign and represents an impressive achievement early in the reign of new coach Roberto Martinez.
Luxembourg’s 3-1 win over Iceland moved it onto 10 points to equal its highest total in European or World Cup qualifying with five games still to play.
Liechtenstein remains pointless at the bottom of the group after losing 2-1 to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Bruno Petković scored twice as Croatia moved up to second in Group D with a 5-0 win against Latvia.
The World Cup bronze medalist is now three points behind leader Turkey with two games in hand.
Turkey needed a goal in the 88th from Bertug Yildirim to earn a 1-1 draw with Armenia.
James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson
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