MX23RW : Tuesday, August 3 14:09:41| >> :120:16340:16340:

Liam Cooper: 'Scotland belong on the world stage'

Liam Cooper: 'Scotland belong on the world stage'
© Reuters
The side will qualify for the round of 16 if they defeat Croatia at Hampden Park.

Defender Liam Cooper believes Scotland have shown they “belong” on the biggest stage as they try to secure Euro 2020 progress.

Friday’s goalless draw against England at Wembley kept the side well and truly in the hunt for a first spell in the knockout stages of a major tournament.

And results elsewhere on Monday ensured Scotland will definitely qualify if they beat Croatia at Hampden Park.

Victory would put Scotland on four points, sealing progress to the last 16 at least as one of the four best third-placed teams.

They could even finish second ahead of England if the Czech Republic win at Wembley and Scotland turn around their three-goal disadvantage against the Auld Enemy.

Scotland will need to deal with the expectations as they bid to make history and improve on their display in their opening 2-0 defeat by the Czechs.

But Cooper, 29, feels they blew away any signs of nerves and answered doubts about their quality with their performance against England.

Scotland competed well at Wembley
Scotland competed well at Wembley (Nick Potts/PA)

“There was always going to be nerves but they soon go,” the Leeds centre-back said. “You realise the job at hand and you get on with it.

“The lads who played the other night proved themselves on the world stage, that we belong here.

“The nerves have gone and it’s all focus on Tuesday night.

“It’s a massive game, probably the biggest game Scotland has seen for a very long time, and it’s one we are all very excited about and looking forward to.”

Andy Robertson
Andy Robertson went close against the Czechs (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Steve Clarke’s side will need to break their Euro 2020 duck and find the net at least once – they are the only team who have not scored yet.

Cooper said: “We have created a lot of chances, against both the Czech Republic and England. We have had 30 shots.

“We just need someone to step up and put the ball in the back of the net and I’m sure we will do that.

“The strikers have confidence in themselves and if they keep getting the chances one is going to go in. We need it more than ever.”

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina32211669
United StatesUnited States24282173
JapanJapan1961136
AustraliaAustralia1441533
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee13211852
Great BritainGreat Britain13171343
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events


DIVING
· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

ATHLETICS
· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

SAILING
· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

FOOTBALL
· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

CYCLING
· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

BOXING
· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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