Scott McTominay seemed to have provided Scotland with the lead against Spain with an incredible free-kick, but the goal was subsequently disallowed.
Steve Clarke’s team managed to keep Spain at bay until the 73rd minute when Alvaro Morata finally broke through and opened the scoring, with Oihan Sancet extending their lead moments later.
Nonetheless, Scotland had a strong case for being in the lead after McTominay beautifully curled a free-kick into the top corner in the 60th minute. There were jubilant celebrations from both players and fans, but VAR intervened.
Following a long look at the pitchside monitor, match referee Serdar Gozubuyuk ruled the goal out for a foul on Unai Simon.
Scotland defender Jack Hendry was adjudged to have fouled the goalkeeper in the penalty area as McTominay curled the ball into the net.
🏴 Scott McTominay thought he scored an absolute worldie…
— Viaplay Sports UK (@ViaplaySportsUK) October 12, 2023
Joy soon turned to despair as the Manchester United midfielder launched a water bottle at the turf in frustration – as thousands of TV remotes suffered the same fate at home.
One viewer slammed the decision on Twitter, writing: “Joke of a decision. Keeper doesn’t even claim the free either.”
“Absolutely embarrassing from the referee,” another tweeted.
“Why was that goal disallowed, because a Scotland player breathed on the keeper?” a third joked.
“That ref shouldn’t get a top game again he’s been shocking all game,” a fourth chimed in.
“As an Englishman that was one of the worst decisions I’ve seen in an international match! Robbery,” a rival fan exclaimed.
While another took a jibe at UEFA: “Hard to deny the ‘UEFA only want the big boys in their tournaments’ brigade watching this disgrace of a referee.”
A goal for McTominay was written in the stars after he scored a brace against the Euro 2020 semi-finalists back in March.
Meanwhile, the 26-year-old became the Red Devils’ latest hero, coming off the bench and scoring two quick-fire stoppage time goals against Brentford to snatch a last-gasp victory at Old Trafford.
Speaking duringUnited’s ‘Life in Numbers’ feature, McTominay addressed his recent goalscoring form.
“Just being alive in the box and being quick with it and not being on your heels or sleeping in the box [is key] – whenever there’s a chance for a goal to go in the back of the net you need to take it,” he said. “I’ve always thought like that.
“People always said: ‘You played as a striker as a kid.’ I never played as a striker.
He added: “I played two games there with [former Reserves coach] Warren Joyce because we had no striker. So, whenever I score a goal, people always say: ‘He used to be a striker, that’s why.’
“I never used to be a striker! I’ve always been a midfield player, a number eight, so it is funny when you hear stuff like that.”