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Scotland hoping to reach knockout stage for first time at Hungary's expense at Euro 2024

STUTTGART, Germany (AP) — Scotland faces Hungary on Sunday in Stuttgart in their final Group A match. Both teams hope it's not their last game at the European Championship. Scotland is third in the group. It followed a 5-1 loss to Germany with a 1-1 draw against Switzerland. Hungary is last after losses to Switzerland and Germany. Kickoff is at 9 p.m. local time (1900 GMT). Here’s what to know about the match:

Match facts

— Scotland is hoping to reach the knockout stage of a major tournament for the first time. It has faint hopes of finishing second in the group but would need to beat Hungary and hope that Switzerland loses to Germany and that there’s a significant swing in goal difference. That is the second tiebreaker if teams are level, after head-to-head.

— Both teams still have a chance of making the round of 16 as one of the four best-performing third-place teams. Hungary needs a win to keep its hopes alive, while Scotland could even do so if it avoids defeat.

— Scotland hasn’t won a match at the European Championship since it beat Switzerland in 1996.

— The teams have never met in a competitive fixture.

Team news

— Kieran Tierney’s tournament ended when the Scotland defender was stretchered off with a hamstring injury in Wednesday’s draw against Switzerland.

— Scotland defender Ryan Porteous serves the second of a two-match suspension after being sent off against Germany.

— Hungary midfielder Callum Styles could make his first European Championship appearance. The England-born player has recovered from an injury sustained in a victory over Israel in Hungary's final warmup match.

By the numbers

— The teams have met nine times — all friendlies — with Hungary winning four and Scotland three.

— Hungary has reached the knockout stage three times.

— After finishing third in 1964 and fourth eight years later, Hungary had to wait 44 years to reach another European Championship. It topped its group at Euro 2016 but lost to Belgium 4-0 in the round of 16. Hungary failed to advance in the last edition despite draws against France and Germany.

What they’re saying

“I don’t think we are feeling that pressure, we’re feeling kind of anticipation, what can be. Can we be that team that changes things, takes the next step? Because the best thing in football is proving people wrong and I don’t think a lot of Europe think we can make that step, and we’ve got full belief in the dressing room that we can.” — Scotland midfielder John McGinn.

“To get a result which leaves it in our hands going into the last game is where we wanted to be before coming into the tournament.” — Scotland defender Jack Hendry.

“At this point in a competition, in such a competition, there’s little to motivate. Because if you as a soccer player can’t find that motivation inside you, then you should change your job.” — Hungary coach Marco Rossi.

“We don’t have to think during the game about other results. We have to win the game and then we’ll start calculating. We just have to win and then we’ll have time to do maths.” — Hungary defender Endre Botka.

“The manager knows what these players are capable of and that’s what we want to do — go and create history. We think we’ve given ourselves a great opportunity and we know that we can take it.” — Scotland midfielder Kenny McLean.

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

The Associated Press