Remembering the Last Time Scotland Beat Germany

Stefan BienkowskiFeatured ColumnistSeptember 5, 2014

Scotish Don Hutchison, No.10, is congratulated by teammates Billy Dodds, left, Ian Durrant, right, and Eoin Jess after scoring a goal during the friendly soccer match Germany versus Scotland at the Bremen Weser stadium, northern Germany, Wednesday, April 28, 1999. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
MICHAEL PROBST/Associated Press

This Sunday, Scotland take on the might of newly crowned world champions Germany, in the first competitive showdown of both sides' Euro 2016 qualification campaign.  

Joachim Low's team will be confident of overcoming the might of Gordon Strachan's side when the two meet at the Westfalenstadion in Dortmund, yet it wasn't so long ago that the Tartan Army were celebrating an unexpected victory in Germany. 

In a friendly match that went on to become one of the most surprising results of 1999, Scotland overcame their European counterparts 1-0 in Bremen, following a second-half goal from former Everton striker Don Hutchison. 

JOERG SARBACH/Associated Press

Managed by Craig Brown at the time, Scotland were certainly a more appealing team than they are now, featuring some excellent players such as David Weir, Colin Hendry, Paul Lambert and Billy Dodds; all stars who would walk into Strachan's team on Sunday in their prime. 

Quite like Darren Fletcher and Co., Brown's team travelled to the Weserstadion in Bremen that day with a point to prove. 

Scotland had just suffered another disappointing World Cup campaign the year before, finishing bottom of their group below a strong Brazil side that would go on to reach the final in France that summer, but also under teams who they really should have overcome in Morocco and Norway. 

The Czech Republic had also added to such misery recently with a well-earned 2-1 victory in Celtic Park, Glasgow, a few months before. Scotland were hurting and in desperate need of a powerful performance against the Germans. 

Alas, this struggling side would become the toast of Scotland when a lovely pull-back from Billy Dodds found Hutchison in acres of space inside the German box on the 66th minute, allowing the striker to calmly slot the ball past a bewildered Jens Lehmann for the only goal of the game. 

In truth, Scotland matched the Germans in every department that day, with Hendry confidently marshalling his defensive line against the might of Oliver Bierhoff, while the likes of Dodds and Scott Gemmill terrorised the home side's defence. 

Germany certainly controlled the match with the same precision and dominance that we will undoubtedly see this weekend, but it was a performance that Scotland was proud of. 

As Andy Coyle, a sports journalist at Scottish broadcaster STV, remembers, it was certainly a game that still stands out to this day:

This was a shock from the days before every game came with pages of stats attached. I would love to see the possession and shots numbers on that game because in my mind it was a classic 'smash and grab'. After Don Hutchison's goal I don't know how we kept out a cracking German team for so long.

Scotland weren't in great form going into the match and I remember thinking that the inevitable doing would be a setback for the team. It didn't end up being a springboard to qualification either though and remains one of the most surprising stand-alone results in our history.

Scotland haven't made it to an international tournament since the World Cup in 1998, so such a result against one of the powerhouses of European football is certainly a point of reference whenever the country looks back and tries to figure out where it all went so wrong. 

Yet Strachan's side are a hopeful team. And one that will go into such a match on Sunday with every hope of grabbing a result to rival that of the famous win in Bremen 18 years ago.

Hutchison, Dodds and Gemmill have since hung up their boots, but the country do have legitimate talents in Fletcher, Steven Naismith and others who are more than capable of hurting Low's team. We await to see if this crop of players can make history once again.