An unfriendly friendly

Last night saw the United Kingdom divided as England took on Scotland at Celtic Park. Tensions were high as the unfriendly neighbours clashed in a match that was friendly only in name.

International football’s longest footballing rivalry saw the Three Lions rise to the occasion, beating Scotland 3-1 on the night.

The match was the return leg of the Wembley fixture marking the 150th anniversary of the Football Association.

A heightened police presence was enforced before kick off to deter a repeat of the violent scenes played out after 2009 friendly at Hamden.

Coming off the back of a successful Euro qualifying campaign, the hostilities begun early as both national anthems were booed from the get go.

The main talking point of the night was the anti-IRA chants sang out by the travelling England Supporters’ Band during the match.

The band was asked at half time by an FA Official to stop the chant and the issue was also addressed in Roy Hodgson’s post match interview. Unaware of what was being chanted throughout the first half, Hodgson was quick to condemn the content of the chant but lauded the overall support for the team.

England’s next set of matches is early next year as they press on to qualify for Euro 2016.  They have also announced that they will play a series of matches against Germany and France with fixtures against the Netherlands and Spain in contention.

Picture credits: Zhi Yong Lee

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