Scotland fans in Aberdeen erupted into cheers as the final whistle blew tonight despite the 0-0 score.
Before the clash with England, fans said they were “quietly optimistic” and their faith was rewarded with a top performance from the Scots.
At McGinty’s in Aberdeen, spectators burst into applause and cheers as the players headed for tunnels.
Bar owner Allan Henderson said there had been a “great atmosphere” during the match and praised the squad for keeping the pressure on England, adding it could have gone “any way”.
Mr Henderson said: “It was a great performance from Scotland, they really battled and were 100% composed on the ball.
“They ensured England didn’t dominate. We had just as many chances as them so it really could have gone any way.
“Scotland deserved a draw, but could have pinched it.
“It’s been really great at McGinty’s tonight. Everyone has followed the rules but the atmosphere has been great.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was quick to congratulate the squad for coming away from Wembley undefeated, praising their “proud and gutsy” performance.
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) June 18, 2021
Team ‘took it all the way to the end’
Calum Campbell watched the game with pals Roy Cook, 25, Robert Scott, 28, Andrew Fraser, 32, and said they had all been impressed by Scotland’s performance.
Mr Campbell, 32, from Aberdeen, said: “We’re reasonably happy, they didn’t deserve to lose so a draw is good. The team put in a lot of effort and didn’t sit back.
“They gave it a good go and took it all the way to the end.
“The game wasn’t one-sided, a lot of people expected England to dominate but it was really even. Steve Clark made some good decisions, especially the tree men in mid-field.”
Mr Cook added: “Stephen O’Donnell really proved himself, I’d say he was the man of the match.”
Before the match bagpipe music filled the air as groups of friends headed to pubs across the Granite City, interrupted only by blasts of Flower of Scotland and enthusiastic cheers.
Football shirts, kilts, flags and face paint were also out in full force.
The tension rose as the game went on, particularly when Scotland’s Stephen O’Donnelly got very close to a goal. Despite it being saved by Jordan Pickford, the crowds remained in good spirits.
Union Street remains lively tonight, with Yes Sir, I Can Boogie blasting from several venues.
Pre-match ‘buzz’ brought city to life
Jake Robertson, from Stoneywood, spent the hours before the game playing the bagpipes on Union Street which was met with great delight from those passing by.
The 16-year-old, who had predicted a 2-1 Scotland win, said: “It’s great to be out celebrating with the fans. The atmosphere has been amazing, I absolutely love it.
“I was out on Monday playing during the Scotland game too and the reaction was so good. Even though Scotland lost, the fans always keep the spirits up.”
— Ellie Milne (@elliem_milne) June 18, 2021
At McGinty’s on Union Street, fans enjoyed a few drinks before the match kicked off.
The game brought together one group of friends who might not usually be so friendly on match night, together.
“We all support different teams,” said Charlie Bain, an asset manager from Aberdeen. “It’s great that we can come together to support Scotland tonight.”
The group had the balcony to themselves in McGinty’s but that was not stopping them from raising the roof with their national anthem singing and cheering.
Mr Bain added: “Aberdeen hasn’t seen a buzz like this.”
Scott Stuart, 26, said before the match that he was keeping his expectations low to avoid disappointment.
He added: “I’m going to enjoy it either way. It’s just good to be here and the atmosphere has been great.
“I think there is a lot of blind optimism, but whatever happens we’ll continue to celebrate.”
“Our parents have told stories about past games”
For some, this is their first time watching Scotland at the Euros.
Ryan Cormack, 19, Liam Jones, 19 and Charlie Crosby, 20, headed out to watch the match together.
Mr Cormack said: “Our parents have told stories about past games but this is the first big tournament that we are experiencing”
Mr Crosby added: “We’re excited and overly confident. It feels like a moment we’ll remember forever and folk will ask ‘Where were you during that game?’”
Though pubs not be as busy as they would have been had this happened out with the pandemic, the atmosphere was still buzzing.
Scott Moir, a 28-year-old solicitor from Aberdeen said: “We’re quietly optimistic but also realists. We’ll take a draw.
“This is a one-off game so we’re just excited to be out to witness it. We did think about going to Glasgow or London, but those tickets were like gold dust, so we’re hoping for a good atmosphere here.”
He also said booking a spot in the pub to watch the match was tough, so the city is bound to be in for a busy night.
And fans were certainly getting into the spirit of things at the Bieldside Inn in Aberdeen.