The result Scotland need vs Hungary to qualify for last 16 of Euro 2024 and what happens if they finish third

-Credit: (Image: Getty)
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

Scotland are finally up and running at Euro 2024.

After a 5-1 thumping at the hands of hosts Germany on the opening night, Steve Clarke's men kept their hopes of progressing from Group A alive with a much-improved 1-1 draw with Switzerland.

The final game with Hungary on Sunday night has plenty riding on it, though. Indeed, only a victory will do for the Tartan Army, who have never seen their side progress to the knockout stages of a major tournament.

Here's where things stand ahead of this weekend's clash.

Current state of play

Scotland's draw means they are currently sitting third in Group A on one point, three points behind second-placed Switzerland.

Germany top the group and are already through having taken two wins from two.

Hungary are currently bottom without a point to their name so far.

What do Scotland need?

A win.

Victory over the Hungarians will see the Scots move to four points, which would be enough to secure at least third.

A win could even be enough to edge Scotland past Switzerland, although they would be relying on Germany to beat the Swiss, and overturn a six-goal swing. Possible? Yes. Probable? Not so sure.

The consequences of a defeat are far more binary. Lose, and Scotland will finish bottom of the group.

What happens if they draw?

Should Scotland draw, then they will finish third, and that's when things get a little more complicated.

Out of the six groups, only four third-placed sides will progress to the last 16, meaning a third-place finish would leave Scotland with something of an anxious wait. But a draw should be enough if two out of the three things below happen:

  • Spain and Italy both win their final games - against Albania and Croatia respectively - on Monday

  • Denmark see off Serbia and England beat Slovenia by four goals in Group C on Tuesday

  • Portugal and Turkey earn victories on Wednesday over Georgia and Czech Republic

Should they go into that hat with four points, however, they have every reason to feel positive. Since the Euros were expanded to 24 teams, no side that has ever finished third with four points has failed to progress.

How are the best third-placed teams worked out?

The results of all the third-placed teams are compared, with the four sides racking up the most points going through.

Should any side finish level on points, goal difference will be applied, then goals scored, then the highest number of wins.

In the unlikely event that it's still level, the side with the better disciplinary record goes through. If it still remains level, then the side ranked highest in the European Qualifier rankings will go through.

Who's currently the best third-placed side?

Austria are currently the best third-placed side, ahead of Slovakia, who have also won a game, but the former are ahead on goal difference.

Scotland are currently occupying the sixth spot on one point.

The thrashing at the hand of Germany means they currently have the worst goal difference of any of the third-placed teams, which will surely be a concern to boss Steve Clarke.

Third-place rankings in full:

1. Austria P:2 W:1 D:0 L:1 F:3 A:2 GD:1 PTS:3

2 Slovakia P:2 W:1 D:0 L:1 F:2 A:2 GD:0 PTS:3

3. Slovenia P:2 W:0 D:2 L0 F:2 A:2 GD:0 PTS:2

4. Albania P:2 W:0 DL1 L:1 F:3 A:4 GD:-1 PTS:1


5. Czech Republic P:2 W:0 D:1 L:1 F:2 A:3 GD:-1 PTS:1

6. SCOTLAND P:2 W:0 D:1 L1 F:2 A:6 GD:-4 PTS:1