Scotland fans booed England’s national anthem at Hampden Park on Tuesday night before their friendly encounter.
The two teams met in Glasgow 150 years on from their first ever international match, which then ended in a goalless draw. This time England got the better of their hosts with a 3-1 victory as Jude Bellingham starred in midfield.
Before the game, the English rendition of God Save the King – which is also the national anthem of the United Kingdom – was loudly jeered and booed by the home supporters. That was in stark contrast to Flower of Scotland which was belted out by the 50,000-strong crowd.
The reaction was hardly surprising against the backdrop of the oldest rivalry in football.
Afterwards, Scotland manager Steve Clarke stressed that his team’s feelgood factor after beating Cyprus last week should remain fully intact despite defeat.
The chance of a double celebration lay in store for the Tartan Army but a chastening evening against their rivals saw many supporters drift out before full-time, as Norway’s 2-1 win against Georgia denied them an early qualification for next summer’s Euro 2024 finals in Germany.
Victory against Spain in Seville on 12 October would be enough to top Group A and even defeat would leave a significant chance for Scotland to qualify next month as something will need to give when Norway face the Spaniards three days later.
When asked how he would go about making sure the 150th anniversary defeat did not dent the feelgood factor, Clarke said: “It hasn’t gone. In the competitive group we are in – five wins, 15 points.
“I told the lads the camp has been a success. The most important thing in this camp was to get three points in Cyprus. We achieved that. It would have been nice to get a positive result against England to make it even better but the objective of what we came in to do has been done.
“Obviously we didn’t want to lose to our Auld Enemy but on the night England were better.”
Additional reporting by PA