Yesterday, after five years is Scotland, I really got behind the Scottish football team for the first time. Up until then I'd been rather indifferent when it came to Scotland's results with a "nice if they win, but it doesn't really affect me if they don't" attitude. But watching the game against Italy yesterday it was hard not to get caught up in the atmosphere and disappointing to see them lose. Obviously I couldn't bring myself to get fully worked up about it (and it would have seemed a bit disingenuous if I had), but my throat was still fairly raw from shouting at the screen trying to urge the team forward. It would have been really good for Scotland to be Euro 2008, but I don't think what they could do there (unless they got to the final) would have matched the atmosphere around the country before yesterday's game.
I had the consolation of the fortuitous results for England. Israel did England a huge favour by beating Russia, although it was a very tense second half with Russia pushing forward and threatening the Israeli goal constantly. I, and all other England fans, had written us off after the loss to Russia the other month, but this has given us the lifeline of having our fate back in our own hands. We now need a draw against Croatia on Wednesday to go through.