Scotland 0-4 Belgium: Kevin De Bruyne stars as visitors run riot at Hampden Park
Scotland vs Belgium
European Qualifiers Group I
7:45pm Monday 9th September
Scotland suffered more Hampden torment as a defeat made it four losses by six Qualifiers.
Kevin De Bruyne set up first-half targets for Thomas Vermaelen Romelu Lukaku and Toby Alderweireld as Scotland were punished for poor.
Steve Clarke’s side were more aggressive after the break but De Bruyne rounded off the scoring in the 82nd minute to create it 11 goals without reply against Scotland in 12 months.
The defeat leaves Scotland in place in Group I, nine points away second-placed Russia with four matches remaining, the one a visit to Moscow.
Last year scotland suffered an identical defeat under Alex McLeish in September at a friendly and now Clarke is finding it no easier to get the team functioning, enduring a third beat in his first four games after conceding basic targets.
Scotland started as they had done three times before after a free-kick was sent by Robert Snodgrass into the box, but any epidemic of moderate optimism at the home service was snuffed out in the ninth minute.
Each Scotland participant was outside the middle circle in the half and the visitors broke clinically following winning the header.
Dries Mertens seen De Bruyne’s sprint down the wing and also defeat on Stephen O’Donnell to the ball. Andy Robertson found himself isolated contrary to the Manchester City playmaker and Lukaku, and finish and the through-ball were excellent.
Snodgrass delivered some crosses while Scotland were found wanting at balls into their box , but Belgium defended them.
The goal came after De Bruyne took a corner . Robertson was slow in providing help and De Bruyne sent which Vermaelen knocked home from six yards after escaping the attentions of Kenny McLean.
The target was more straightforward. Alderweireld headed off the bar from 12 yards and conquer Charlie Mulgrew into the corner of De Bruyne.
Matty Phillips got a 25-yard strike on goal in the lay-off of Ryan Christie but Thibaut Courtois got down effortlessly.
Belgium might have scored more in the first half. Youri Tielemans volleyed a yard wide from 22 yards after Liam Cooper’s weak header and De Bruyne set up opportunities for Lukaku and more for Thomas Meunier, the best where the Inter Milan striker volleyed wide from 10 yards.
Scott McTominay had a shot following the Napoli wide man was given freedom to run into the box, but David Marshall soon made an excellent stop.
Robertson had a shot saved after Christie’s incisive pass in the tight angle and also the home fans were on their feet following O’Donnell went down in the box, however the right-back was booked for diving.
Scotland huffed and puffed after having a good chance, when he swept the ball from Lukaku’s pass, but De Bruyne got the goal his play deserved.
Scotland will miss the suspended McTominay later he picked up his booking of the campaign, but victory there could leave them needing too much to seal a spot. They will look instead following their Nations League achievement next March to a house play-off.
Scotland is going to probably 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), such as scoring and assisting three goals in Hampden Park.
Scotland director Steve Clarke admitted it is hard to find positives from the defeat to Belgium and was disappointed with his side.
Roberto Martinez says he had been satisfied with how challenging his side claimed keeping a clean sheet was the aspect and functioned against Scotland within their win.
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