In the closing stages against Hungary in Stuttgart, substitute Stuart Armstrong fell in the Hungarian penalty area under pressure from Willi Orban. Argentine referee Facundo Tello waved play on, with VAR official Alejandro Hernandez choosing not to intervene.

“The pivotal moment in the game was the penalty,” Clarke expressed. “Why wasn’t it given? I need an explanation. I need to understand why that wasn’t a penalty kick.”

“I don’t comprehend how VAR can review that and determine it’s not a penalty. I have strong feelings about it, but I’ll keep them to myself.”

Former England striker and BBC pundit Alan Shearer concurred, stating Scotland should have been awarded a penalty.

“The decision not to give the penalty was dreadful,” Shearer remarked. “In my opinion, it was a clear penalty.”

Asked if he had conversed with the referee, Clarke responded, “What’s the point?”

“He’s Argentine. Why isn’t there a European referee? I don’t understand why he’s officiating here instead of in his own country. That’s just my view.”

‘Footballing Gods Not in Our Favor’

Clarke attributed Hungary’s winning goal to Scotland’s urgency to secure victory.

“In the dying seconds, Kevin Csoboth capitalized on a counter-attack after we had thrown players forward,” Clarke explained. “Unfortunately, luck wasn’t on our side.”

“We did manage to create some opportunities. When you’re under pressure to win, sometimes you snatch at chances.”

“In football, you sometimes need luck on your side, but tonight it deserted us. Football can be cruel; we all experience its highs and lows.”

Looking ahead, Clarke emphasized the need for Scotland to refocus on qualifying for their next major tournament.

“Our attention now turns to the autumn fixtures, where we’ll face Portugal, Croatia, and Poland in the Nations League top tier.”

“We have to regroup, recharge, and move forward. It can’t be another 26 years before we make it to another major tournament abroad. That’s our next goal.”