Scotland vs Belgium
European Qualifiers Group I
7:45pm Monday 9th September
Scotland suffered more Hampden torment as a 4-0 defeat made it four losses by six European Qualifiers.
Kevin De Bruyne set up first-half goals for Thomas Vermaelen Romelu Lukaku and Toby Alderweireld as Scotland were penalized for poor defending.
Steve Clarke’s side were much more competitive after the rest but the scoring rounded off in the 82nd minute to make it 11 targets without reply against Scotland in 12 weeks.
The defeat leaves Scotland in fifth place in Group I, nine things off Russia with four matches remaining, the next one a trip to Moscow.
This past year, scotland suffered an equal defeat in a friendly beneath Alex McLeish in September and Clarke is finding it easier to find the team functioning, enduring a third defeat in his first four games after devoting objectives.
Scotland started positively as they had done three days earlier after Robert Snodgrass sent a free-kick to the 39, but any epidemic of mild optimism at the home service was quickly snuffed out in the ninth minute.
Each Scotland participant was beyond the middle circle at the half and the people broke clinically following winning the header.
Dries Mertens spotted De Bruyne’s sprint down the wing and defeat on Stephen. Andy Robertson found himself scattered contrary to the Manchester City playmaker and Lukaku, and also the through-ball and conclude were fantastic.
Snodgrass delivered some crosses nevertheless Belgium defended themwhile Scotland were found wanting at balls.
The goal came after a corner was taken by De Bruyne in the 24th minute. Robertson was in providing help slow and De Bruyne delivered which Vermaelen knocked home from six yards after escaping Kenny McLean’s attentions.
The goal, eight minutes later, was even more straightforward. Alderweireld conquer Charlie Mulgrew and headed off the bar from 12 yards.
Thibaut Courtois got although matty Phillips got a 25-yard strike from Ryan Christie’s lay-off on goal.
Belgium might have scored in the first halfof the Youri Tielemans volleyed a yard wide from 22 yards after De Bruyne and Liam Cooper’s poor header set additional opportunities up for Thomas Meunier and 2 more for Lukaku, the top of which the Inter Milan striker volleyed wide from 10 metres.
Scott McTominay had a shot saved in 30 minutes of the restart as Scotland came out determined to restore a while, after the Napoli wide man was granted liberty to run in the box, but David Marshall made an excellent stop from Mertens.
Robertson had a shot saved after Christie pass from a tight angle following O’Donnell went down at the box, along with the home supporters were on their toes, however the right-back was booked for diving.
Scotland huffed and puffed after missing a sooner chance, when he swept the ball into the corner from Lukaku’s pass, but De Bruyne got the goal his first play deserved.
Scotland will overlook the suspended McTominay in Moscow later he picked up his third party reservation of the effort, but success there would realistically leave them needing much to secure a top-two place. They will surely look ahead rather after their Nations League achievement next March to a house play-off.
Scotland will be sick of the sight of De Bruyne.
Even the Man City star has had a direct hand in seven goals in just four games versus Scotland (two goals, five assists), including scoring once and assisting three goals at Hampden Park.
Scotland manager Steve Clarke was disappointed with his side’s protecting and admitted it is not easy to locate positives.
Roberto Martinez says he had been happy with how difficult his side claimed keeping a clean sheet was the most gratifying aspect and worked within their win against Scotland.