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Host Germany gives Euro 2024 liftoff by outclassing 10-man Scotland 5-1

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Host Germany gives Euro 2024 liftoff by outclassing 10-man Scotland 5-1
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Host Germany gives Euro 2024 liftoff by outclassing 10-man Scotland 5-1

2024-06-15 14:04 Last Updated At:14:10

MUNICH (AP) — Host Germany could hardly have wished for a better start to the European Championship.

Goals from Florian Wirtz and Jamal Musiala in an imperious first half set Germany on the way to a confidence-boosting 5-1 win over 10-man Scotland in the Euro 2024 curtainraiser on Friday.

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Dancers perform during the opening ceremony ahead of the Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

MUNICH (AP) — Host Germany could hardly have wished for a better start to the European Championship.

Germany's Pascal Gross, left, jumps for the ball with Scotland's Ryan Christie during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Germany's Pascal Gross, left, jumps for the ball with Scotland's Ryan Christie during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Scotland's Ryan Porteous, center left, fouls Germany's Ilkay Gundogan to give away a penalty during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Scotland's Ryan Porteous, center left, fouls Germany's Ilkay Gundogan to give away a penalty during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's Jamal Musiala, left, celebrates with Maximilian Mittelstadt after scoring his side's second goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's Jamal Musiala, left, celebrates with Maximilian Mittelstadt after scoring his side's second goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's Niclas Fuellkrug, right, celebrates after scoring his side's 4th goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Germany's Niclas Fuellkrug, right, celebrates after scoring his side's 4th goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Germany's Niclas Fuellkrug, second right, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's fourth goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Germany's Niclas Fuellkrug, second right, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's fourth goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Germany's head coach Julian Nagelsmann celebrates after the Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (Christian Charisius/dpa via AP)

Germany's head coach Julian Nagelsmann celebrates after the Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (Christian Charisius/dpa via AP)

Scotland's Ryan Porteous is shown a red card by referee Clement Turpin after a challenge on Germany's Ilkay Gundogan during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Scotland's Ryan Porteous is shown a red card by referee Clement Turpin after a challenge on Germany's Ilkay Gundogan during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's Jamal Musiala celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's Jamal Musiala celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's head coach Julian Nagelsmann, left, celebrates with his assistant Sandro Wagner after Germany's Emre Can scored his side's fifth goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's head coach Julian Nagelsmann, left, celebrates with his assistant Sandro Wagner after Germany's Emre Can scored his side's fifth goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's Kai Havertz celebrates with Joshua Kimmich after scoring his side's third goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's Kai Havertz celebrates with Joshua Kimmich after scoring his side's third goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's Thomas Mueller, center, celebrates during the Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (Christian Charisius/dpa via AP)

Germany's Thomas Mueller, center, celebrates during the Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (Christian Charisius/dpa via AP)

Germany's Jamal Musiala, right, scores his side's second goal during the Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (Federico Gambarini/dpa via AP)

Germany's Jamal Musiala, right, scores his side's second goal during the Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (Federico Gambarini/dpa via AP)

Germany's Jamal Musiala celebrates with Antonio Rudiger after scoring his side's second goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's Jamal Musiala celebrates with Antonio Rudiger after scoring his side's second goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's Florian Wirtz, second right, celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's Florian Wirtz, second right, celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Scotland's goalkeeper Angus Gunn fails to save a ball after Germany's Florian Wirtz shot during of the Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Scotland's goalkeeper Angus Gunn fails to save a ball after Germany's Florian Wirtz shot during of the Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Scottish fans celebrate their only goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Scottish fans celebrate their only goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Germany's Niclas Fuellkrug celebrates with her daughter Emilia at the end of the Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Germany's Niclas Fuellkrug celebrates with her daughter Emilia at the end of the Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Scotland's players salute supporters at the end of a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Scotland's players salute supporters at the end of a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Germany's head coach Julian Nagelsmann, left, celebrates with his assistant Sandro Wagner after Germany's Emre Can scored his side's fifth goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's head coach Julian Nagelsmann, left, celebrates with his assistant Sandro Wagner after Germany's Emre Can scored his side's fifth goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's player celebrate after winning a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Germany's player celebrate after winning a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

FILE - German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier speaks during a memorial service for Bayern and Germany legend Franz Beckenbauer at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany, Friday, Jan. 19, 2024. UEFA will honour the late German football icon Franz Beckenbauer at the UEFA EURO 2024 opening ceremony ahead of the host nation’s clash against Scotland at the Munich Football Arena on Friday. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, File)

FILE - German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier speaks during a memorial service for Bayern and Germany legend Franz Beckenbauer at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany, Friday, Jan. 19, 2024. UEFA will honour the late German football icon Franz Beckenbauer at the UEFA EURO 2024 opening ceremony ahead of the host nation’s clash against Scotland at the Munich Football Arena on Friday. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, File)

FILE - Then Munich's soccer coach Juergen Klinsmann waves prior to the soccer friendly match of the Beckenbauer cup between FC Bayern Munich and Inter Milan in the arena in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2008. UEFA will honour the late German football icon Franz Beckenbauer at the UEFA EURO 2024 opening ceremony ahead of the host nation’s clash against Scotland at the Munich Football Arena on Friday. (AP Photo/Christof Stache, File)

FILE - Then Munich's soccer coach Juergen Klinsmann waves prior to the soccer friendly match of the Beckenbauer cup between FC Bayern Munich and Inter Milan in the arena in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2008. UEFA will honour the late German football icon Franz Beckenbauer at the UEFA EURO 2024 opening ceremony ahead of the host nation’s clash against Scotland at the Munich Football Arena on Friday. (AP Photo/Christof Stache, File)

While Germany didn’t really have to break sweat against a sub-par Scotland at Allianz Arena, it was the ideal result to launch its tournament and ramp up excitement in the country.

“Yes, that’s exactly the way we wanted to start and, to be honest, we needed a start just like that,” Germany captain İlkay Gündoğan told German broadcaster ZDF. “I had a good feeling before the game already, to be honest, and it came true, thank God.

“But exactly this atmosphere, the euphoria in the stadium now with our own fans, that’s exactly what we need in order to go far.”

Pre-tournament title expectations of the Germans were underwhelming after they crashed out of their last three major tournaments. But they've opened with their biggest victory in Euros history.

They dominated the first half, which ended in the worst possible way for Scotland when defender Ryan Porteous was sent off and Kai Havertz converted the resulting penalty kick. Substitutes Niclas Füllkrug and Emre Can piled on to Scotland's misery after the break.

“The first 20 minutes were very impressive. The first goals were very good," Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann said. "It’s very valuable that many players performed well early on.

“It was only the first step but a very good one and we can build on this one. We’re very happy.”

Scotland, which hadn't had a shot on goal all match, managed to give its raucous fans something to celebrate late on when the ball was bundled into the back of the net off Germany defender Antonio Rüdiger for an own goal.

Steve Clarke’s side will have to do better against Hungary and Switzerland if it is to get out of Group A and reach the knockout stage for the first time.

“Difficult night. We didn’t play to our standard. The German team were excellent,” Clarke said.

“We feel as though we’ve let ourselves down. We’re better than that. Hopefully we can show that the next two games.”

Scotland’s Tartan Army of supporters started the match in fine voice but they were swiftly quietened when Wirtz scored in the 10th.

Toni Kroos picked out Joshua Kimmich with a brilliant crossfield lob and he rolled it across for Wirtz to fire in.

Wirtz became Germany’s youngest Euros goal-scorer at 21. Musiala, 67 days older than Wirtz, doubled Germany’s tally nine minutes later after combining well with Havertz.

Right on halftime, Scotland goalkeeper Angus Gunn only parried a header from Gündoğan, but just when the captain appeared set to tuck home the rebound he was upended by a thunderous challenge from Porteous.

Referee Clément Turpin showed Porteous a straight red card and awarded Germany a penalty, which Havertz converted.

Scotland managed to hold out in the second half until an attempted exchange between Musiala and Gündoğan fell kindly for Füllkrug. The substitute, who came on only five minutes earlier, unleashed a thunderbolt into the top right corner.

Scotland's late consolation came when Kieran McKenna’s header from a free kick went in off Rüdiger.

Still, Scotland conceded five goals for the first time in 12 years when Can, who was brought into the squad only two days ago as a late replacement for the ill Aleksandar Pavlovic, curled in in stoppage time.

“A great feeling and a crazy story ... I was on vacation two days ago” Can told ZDF. “Then the call came on Wednesday, and on Wednesday evening I met up with the team, trained once yesterday, came in today (off the bench), scored a goal. I’m thankful to Julian (Nagelsmann) and the whole coaching staff that they put their trust in me.”

Late German soccer great Franz Beckenbauer was honored before the match, and the capacity crowd included German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Scotland First Minister John Swinney, and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

Hungary is next in Germany's sights on Wednesday, when Scotland plays Switzerland.

AP Euro 2024: https://apnews.com/hub/euro-2024

Dancers perform during the opening ceremony ahead of the Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Dancers perform during the opening ceremony ahead of the Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Germany's Pascal Gross, left, jumps for the ball with Scotland's Ryan Christie during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Germany's Pascal Gross, left, jumps for the ball with Scotland's Ryan Christie during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Scotland's Ryan Porteous, center left, fouls Germany's Ilkay Gundogan to give away a penalty during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Scotland's Ryan Porteous, center left, fouls Germany's Ilkay Gundogan to give away a penalty during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's Jamal Musiala, left, celebrates with Maximilian Mittelstadt after scoring his side's second goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's Jamal Musiala, left, celebrates with Maximilian Mittelstadt after scoring his side's second goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's Niclas Fuellkrug, right, celebrates after scoring his side's 4th goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Germany's Niclas Fuellkrug, right, celebrates after scoring his side's 4th goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Germany's Niclas Fuellkrug, second right, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's fourth goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Germany's Niclas Fuellkrug, second right, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's fourth goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Germany's head coach Julian Nagelsmann celebrates after the Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (Christian Charisius/dpa via AP)

Germany's head coach Julian Nagelsmann celebrates after the Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (Christian Charisius/dpa via AP)

Scotland's Ryan Porteous is shown a red card by referee Clement Turpin after a challenge on Germany's Ilkay Gundogan during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Scotland's Ryan Porteous is shown a red card by referee Clement Turpin after a challenge on Germany's Ilkay Gundogan during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's Jamal Musiala celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's Jamal Musiala celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's head coach Julian Nagelsmann, left, celebrates with his assistant Sandro Wagner after Germany's Emre Can scored his side's fifth goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's head coach Julian Nagelsmann, left, celebrates with his assistant Sandro Wagner after Germany's Emre Can scored his side's fifth goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's Kai Havertz celebrates with Joshua Kimmich after scoring his side's third goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's Kai Havertz celebrates with Joshua Kimmich after scoring his side's third goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's Thomas Mueller, center, celebrates during the Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (Christian Charisius/dpa via AP)

Germany's Thomas Mueller, center, celebrates during the Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (Christian Charisius/dpa via AP)

Germany's Jamal Musiala, right, scores his side's second goal during the Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (Federico Gambarini/dpa via AP)

Germany's Jamal Musiala, right, scores his side's second goal during the Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (Federico Gambarini/dpa via AP)

Germany's Jamal Musiala celebrates with Antonio Rudiger after scoring his side's second goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's Jamal Musiala celebrates with Antonio Rudiger after scoring his side's second goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's Florian Wirtz, second right, celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's Florian Wirtz, second right, celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Scotland's goalkeeper Angus Gunn fails to save a ball after Germany's Florian Wirtz shot during of the Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Scotland's goalkeeper Angus Gunn fails to save a ball after Germany's Florian Wirtz shot during of the Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Scottish fans celebrate their only goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Scottish fans celebrate their only goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Germany's Niclas Fuellkrug celebrates with her daughter Emilia at the end of the Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Germany's Niclas Fuellkrug celebrates with her daughter Emilia at the end of the Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Scotland's players salute supporters at the end of a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Scotland's players salute supporters at the end of a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Germany's head coach Julian Nagelsmann, left, celebrates with his assistant Sandro Wagner after Germany's Emre Can scored his side's fifth goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's head coach Julian Nagelsmann, left, celebrates with his assistant Sandro Wagner after Germany's Emre Can scored his side's fifth goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Germany's player celebrate after winning a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Germany's player celebrate after winning a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

FILE - German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier speaks during a memorial service for Bayern and Germany legend Franz Beckenbauer at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany, Friday, Jan. 19, 2024. UEFA will honour the late German football icon Franz Beckenbauer at the UEFA EURO 2024 opening ceremony ahead of the host nation’s clash against Scotland at the Munich Football Arena on Friday. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, File)

FILE - German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier speaks during a memorial service for Bayern and Germany legend Franz Beckenbauer at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany, Friday, Jan. 19, 2024. UEFA will honour the late German football icon Franz Beckenbauer at the UEFA EURO 2024 opening ceremony ahead of the host nation’s clash against Scotland at the Munich Football Arena on Friday. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, File)

FILE - Then Munich's soccer coach Juergen Klinsmann waves prior to the soccer friendly match of the Beckenbauer cup between FC Bayern Munich and Inter Milan in the arena in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2008. UEFA will honour the late German football icon Franz Beckenbauer at the UEFA EURO 2024 opening ceremony ahead of the host nation’s clash against Scotland at the Munich Football Arena on Friday. (AP Photo/Christof Stache, File)

FILE - Then Munich's soccer coach Juergen Klinsmann waves prior to the soccer friendly match of the Beckenbauer cup between FC Bayern Munich and Inter Milan in the arena in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2008. UEFA will honour the late German football icon Franz Beckenbauer at the UEFA EURO 2024 opening ceremony ahead of the host nation’s clash against Scotland at the Munich Football Arena on Friday. (AP Photo/Christof Stache, File)

Next Article

Birthday boy Lamine Yamal wins Euro 2024 and best young player award

2024-07-15 09:04 Last Updated At:09:10

BERLIN (AP) — Spain’s teenage phenom Lamine Yamal won the European Championship and the tournament’s best young player award just a day after he turned 17.

Yamal earned it mostly while he was still 16, but he crowned his contribution to Spain’s success by setting up Nico Williams’ opening goal in a 2-1 win over England in the final on Sunday.

“This is the best (birthday) gift I could have asked for. It’s a dream come true,” Yamal said. “It got tough when they tied the score, but I don’t know what this team is made of because we always fight back.”

England substitute Cole Palmer had equalized for England, but Mikel Oyarzabal clinched Spain’s win in the 86th.

Yamal set up Williams to score in the 47th by drifting inside Luke Shaw and playing the ball across to the left for the Athletic Bilbao winger to hit first time inside the far post. Yamal also brought two good saves from England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

“Lamine is incredible, as you’ve all seen during this tournament,” Williams said. “The sky’s the limit for him. As well as being a good player, he’s also a great person.”

Yamal became the youngest player to appear at the European Championship, the youngest to score in the tournament, and the youngest to play in a final.

Yamal plays for Barcelona, following in the footsteps of his idol, Lionel Messi, after coming through the club’s famed La Masia training academy. He's also the youngest goalscorer in the Spanish league.

He finished with four assists and one goal in his debut European Championship.

AP Euro 2024: https://apnews.com/hub/euro-2024

Spain's Lamine Yamal poses with the trophy after the final match against England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, July 14, 2024. Spain won the game 2-1. (Tom Weller/dpa via AP)

Spain's Lamine Yamal poses with the trophy after the final match against England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, July 14, 2024. Spain won the game 2-1. (Tom Weller/dpa via AP)

Spain's Lamine Yamal smiles with his medal next to the trophy after winning the final match between Spain and England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, July 14, 2024. Spain won 2-1. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Spain's Lamine Yamal smiles with his medal next to the trophy after winning the final match between Spain and England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, July 14, 2024. Spain won 2-1. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Spain's Lamine Yamal celebrates after receiving the Best Young Player of the tournament award after the final match between Spain and England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, July 14, 2024. Spain won 2-1. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Spain's Lamine Yamal celebrates after receiving the Best Young Player of the tournament award after the final match between Spain and England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, July 14, 2024. Spain won 2-1. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Spain's Lamine Yamal holds a baby after the final match between Spain and England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Spain's Lamine Yamal holds a baby after the final match between Spain and England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Spain's Lamine Yamal holds the young player of the tournament trophy after the final match between Spain and England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Spain's Lamine Yamal holds the young player of the tournament trophy after the final match between Spain and England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Spain's head coach Luis de la Fuente gestures to Lamine Yamal after they collected their medals for winning the final match between Spain and England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, July 14, 2024. Spain won 2-1. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Spain's head coach Luis de la Fuente gestures to Lamine Yamal after they collected their medals for winning the final match between Spain and England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, July 14, 2024. Spain won 2-1. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Spain's Lamine Yamal poses with the trophy after the final match against England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, July 14, 2024. Spain won the game 2-1. (Tom Weller/dpa via AP)

Spain's Lamine Yamal poses with the trophy after the final match against England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, July 14, 2024. Spain won the game 2-1. (Tom Weller/dpa via AP)

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