Tartan Army erupt in fan zone after Scotland hold out for draw against Switzerland

Scotland fans at Cologne's fan zone are preparing to book later flights home after the national team got our Euro campaign back on track with a gritty draw against the Swiss. Thousands of ticketless supporters descended onto the city to soak up the atmosphere ahead of the match on Wednesday night.

It was another Tartan Army takeover in the lead up to the game as tens of thousands gathered outside Cologne's biggest train station and at the nearby Alter Markt. Organisers were so overwhelmed by the ridiculous number of Scots in town that the main square had to be closed off for a short while in the afternoon due to safety concerns.

It soon reopened, though, as thousands piled into the well-organised fan zone just off the Alter Markt. They watched the historic match on the big screens before vowing to party through the night after the stunning result.

David Dryburgh and his brother Ian, who is 60 and works in the oil rigs, were impressed with the fan zone experience in the city and are now preparing stay in Germany for a little longer at least.

David, who is 58 and a retired factory worker, said: "We're now going to be absolutely flying as we head down to Stuttgart. I'm confident we will now get out of the group. We're going to need to book later flights home!"

The Tartan Army at the fan zone.
The Tartan Army were in high spirits throughout the game. -Credit:Daily Record

Speaking about the fan zone, he added: "It's been first class here. Compared to Munich, this really is the place to be. It is so much more organised. Cologne has been a fantastic city to watch the football in."

David Begley, a 41-year-old accountant from Glasgow, said: "The first match wasn't very good but I always fancied our chances against the Swiss. We now have a great chance of qualifying and it was great craic at the fan zone.

"There was a lot of entertainment and it was a great place to watch the game. We arrived at around 4pm and just set ourselves up for the night."

Stuart MacPherson watched the game at the fan zone with his pals Fraser Reid, Kat Brown, Melanie Harley and Charlie Barry. He said: "The fan zone was absolutely fantastic too. It was a really good atmosphere.

"We came down at 1pm to get a good position near the screens but it was great. Everyone was in good spirits having a great time. We're glad we got in before it filled out."

The Tartan Army at the fan zone.
The Tartan Army were in high spirits throughout the game. -Credit:Daily Record

The 7,500 capacity fan zone was well-organised with the longest wait for a beer much closer to 20-minutes compared to the over three hours documented in Munich. There were plenty of food stalls too and entertainment for the children while they waited for the match to kick off, including a fun football themed CPR course game that helped teach youngsters the skill.

Little Ryan Wilson Jnr, from Glasgow, was with his dad Ryan, who works for Glasgow Housing Association, for over nine hours at the fan zone. The 10-year-old said: "We got in at 1.30pm but I didn't mind waiting for the game.

"There were loads of fun games to play and we got some nice food. It was brilliant. The game was amazing, I've never seen an atmosphere like it. I've had an amazing time."

Unlike in Munich there were a number of viewing areas for fans in Cologne which gave ticketless supporters a number of options. Albania were playing against Croatia in the early game before Germany faced off against Hungary ahead of the Scotland match.

In-between matches there was music and fans from all six counties enjoyed watching the games together as they mingled and posed for pictures. Jane Scott, a teacher from Hawick, and her pal Morag Naylor, a 60-year-old nurse, have been enjoying their time in Germany, despite the result.

Jane, 60, said: "I don't think we'll be making it back to the hotel tonight. What a result and the fan zone was just an absolutely gorgeous place to watch the game. The sun was out all day, I'm so glad the rain cleared.

"The Swiss and the Scots were having a dance off before the match which was just lovely to watch. There were fans from Albania, Germany, Swiss, Scots, all watching the games together which was great. It's how it should be. Everyone together just enjoying themselves."

At the other end of the fan zone the Record found Paul Love, who went missing in Munich after our 5-1 drubbing against the Germans. The 43-year-old joiner, from Ayr, said: "There was police looking for me, the local MP was involved, my wife was really worried - it was quite bad.

"I'd had too much drink but I finally made it back to my hotel room with no phone and no money. After watching that game I think I'll be going again missing tonight."

Derek Craig, who is 55, from Forfar and works for Barr's Irn Bru, said: "The fan zone experience was absolutely superb. Win, lose or draw we would have been out partying anyway but the result is just a bonus.

"It's great for the country that we've been able to experience this. We're having the time of our lives.

"We were in the Munich fan zone and this has just been so much better. We just walked straight in. The boys have still had an amazing time creating memories that will last forever."

Don't miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond - Sign up to our daily newsletter here.