SCOTLAND supporters should really have developed an immunity to pain and suffering by now given how many occasions their team have raised their hopes only to dash them when glory and joy were tantalisingly within their grasp.

But this heart-breaking, soul-destroying, spirit-crushing defeat to Hungary tonight in their final Euro 2024 group game still had time-served Tartan Army footsoliers weeping into their half-empty plastic pints of Bitburger.

They had made their way to the MHPArena in Stuttgart in their tens of thousands, playing bagpipes, chanting “Super John McGinn” and hoping that this time it would maybe all turn out differently.

But it was, alas, the same old story.

The goal that Kevin Csobath scored on the counter attack in the 10th minute of added on time left Steve Clarke’s side rooted to the bottom of Group A with just a point to show for their efforts in Germany and heading home early once again.

The agony of the result was exacerbated for the Tartan Army because Scotland substitute Stuart Armstrong appeared to have been fouled in the Hungary area after coming on in the second-half and Grant Hanley had seen a goal-bound shot saved in injury time.

Here are five talking points from another evening to forget.

Beaten at the death

There was fevered speculation during the days leading up to this encounter that Clarke would, with Kieran Tierney having returned home because of the injury he suffered in Cologne in midweek, switch from a back three to a back four. He had done so in the past with impressive results.  

READ MOREEvery word of Steve Clarke's furious rant on Scotland vs Hungary ref

He clearly felt, though, that making such a radical move at such a critical juncture would not be a wise move.  He stuck with his 3-4-2-1 formation and brought in Scott Mckenna to replace Tierney. His starting line-up was otherwise unchanged.

The former Aberdeen defender, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Copenhagen in Denmark and played in both legs of their Champions League last 16 double header against Manchester City, is an experienced internationalist and had come on against both Germany and Switzerland.

So much depended on how he performed inside his skipper Andy Robertson and outside Hanley. But the rearguard coped well with everything which was thrown at it. The threat posed by Dominik Szoboszlai, the Liverpool midfielder, was certainly nullified effectively.

Conceding when they did was devastating.

Tense night

Hungary are renowned as a counter attacking team and they were happy, after referee Facundo Tello had ordered a restart, to allow Scotland to control the ball and soak up pressure in the hope they could hit them on the break with numbers.

The game quickly became a cagey, tense, almost dour affair as a consequence. Anthony Ralston whipped a decent cross into the opposition area but none of his team mates were able to test Peter Gulacsi.

At the other end of the park, Bendeguz Bolla got a long-range attempt on target but Angus Gunn was equal to it. It was obvious a great deal was at stake. You could, in fact, cut the atmosphere inside the 55,000-capacity arena with a knife.

When Hungary centre-half Endre Botka went to ground after Hanley had headed a corner to safety and failed to get back up in a blatant and fruitless attempt to win a penalty boos and whistles rained down on him from less than impressed Scotland fans.

Th match livened up towards the end as both teams pushed for the goal they needed. They each had their opportunities before Csoboth finally struck. But it was far from a classic.  

Toothless Scots

John McGinn, normally a darling of the Scotland support, has come in for a little flak in Germany for his performances. But he looked far more like his usual self towards the end of the Switzerland game and he picked up where he left off.

READ MORERobertson apologises to Tartan Army after Scotland's Euro 2024 exit

He got in the faces of the Hungary defenders from kick-off. They had no answer to his physicality and he won several free-kicks in dangerous positions. It was a shame the deliveries from them were so poor. That has been a recurring theme in the past fortnight. A side which lacks a world-class marksman really has to do far better dead ball situations.

There were suggestions in the hours before the game that Che Adams had been feeling unwell but the man who helped Southampton to win promotion back to the Premier League was involved.

He worked hard both offensively and defensively and gave away a couple of free-kicks just outside his side’s penalty box with rash challenges. But he made little impact where he most needed to because of the non-existent service which he received.

When Robertson finally got the ball to him in the final third seven minutes into the second-half he cut inside he shelled a shot high over the crossbar. He put his disappointment at that wasted opportunity behind him by sliding in and blocking a Willi Orban clearance to huge cheers.

But Scotland were nowhere near good enough in attack and paid the price.

Varga scare, penalty shocker

There was a concerning moment in the second when Hungary striker Barnabas Varga failed to get back up after he attempted to get on the end of chipped Szoboszlai  free-kick in the Scotland box. It quickly became apparent that he was badly hurt.

His team mates started gesturing frantically for medics to come on and attend to him. Sheets were taken out to shield him from view as he was treated. He was eventually stretchered off amid applause from both sets of supporters. A VAR penalty check concluded that no offence had been committed and play continued.

READ MOREScotland waited to grab Hungary game - here's the proof

Scotland should have been given the chance to break the deadlock from 12 yards soon after that when Armstrong, who had taken over from McGinn, was clearly fouled in the Hungary box by Orban. But no award was forthcoming. There did not even appear to be anyone taking another look at it. 

Clarke put on Lawrence Shankland for Adams, Ryan Christie for Billy Gilmour, Kenny McLean for Ralston and Lewis Morgan for Robertson in an attempt to inject some badly needed energy and invention into his men’s play and went to a back four.

There was a huge roar from the Scotland supporters when the fourth official showed there would be 10 minutes of added on time. But it was Hungary who almost netted when Csoboth hit the post. The replacement would atone for that miss at the bitter end.

Wha’s like us?

Scotland may not, as their failure to record the result they needed underlined, be the best team at Euro 2024.

But their fans have outshone their counterparts at these finals and endeared themselves enormously to their hosts and the watching world with their impeccable behaviour in the process.

They were out in force again in this decider and did the country proud. They deserved far better than another sickener to add to their collection. Maybe one day.