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 misery because a 4-0 defeat by Belgium made it four reductions from six European Qualifiers.
Kevin De Bruyne set up aims for Thomas Vermaelen Romelu Lukaku and Toby Alderweireld as Scotland were punished for poor defending.
Steve Clarke’s side were aggressive after the rest but De Bruyne rounded off the scoring in the 82nd minute to make it 11 goals without reply against Scotland within 12 weeks.
The defeat leaves Scotland in fifth position in Group I, nine points off Russia with four matches remaining, the one a visit to Moscow.
This past year, scotland suffered an identical defeat beneath Alex McLeish in September in a Hampden friendly and now Clarke is finding it no easier to get the group functioning, enduring a third beat in his first four games after conceding basic objectives.
Scotland started just as they’d done three times before after a free-kick was delivered by Robert Snodgrass into the box, but any epidemic of mild optimism at the home support was immediately snuffed out at the ninth minute.
Every Scotland participant was outside the middle circle at the half and the visitors broke after winning the header, clinically.
Dries Mertens seen De Bruyne’s sprint and also defeat on Stephen. Andy Robertson found himself isolated from the Manchester City playmaker and Lukaku, and finish and also the through-ball were perfect.
Snodgrass delivered some spans nevertheless Belgium defended themwhile Scotland were found needing airborne balls into their box.
The second goal came later De Bruyne took a corner . Robertson was at providing help for its outnumbered Callum McGregor slow and De Bruyne sent in a cross that Vermaelen knocked home from six yards after escaping the attentions of both Kenny McLean.
The next goal was more straightforward. Alderweireld headed off the bar from 12 yards and beat Charlie Mulgrew to the corner of De Bruyne.
Matty Phillips acquired a 25-yard strike on goal however Thibaut Courtois got down relatively effortlessly.
Belgium might have scored in the first halfof the Youri Tielemans volleyed a yard wide from 22 yards after Liam Cooper’s weak header and De Bruyne set opportunities up for Lukaku and two more for Thomas Meunier, the best of which the Inter Milan striker volleyed wide.
David Marshall soon made an excellent stop from Mertens after the Napoli man was given liberty to run in the box, although scott McTominay needed a shot saved over 30 minutes of the restart as Scotland came out decided to restore a while.
Robertson had a shot saved in the tight angle after O’Donnell went down at the box along with the home supporters were on their feet, however the right-back was correctly booked for diving.
Scotland huffed and puffed but De Bruyne got after missing a sooner opportunity, when he swept the ball out of Lukaku’s pass.
Scotland will miss the McTominay that is suspended in Moscow after he picked up his booking of the campaign, but victory there could realistically render them needing much to seal a top-two spot. They will look instead to a house after their Nations League achievement.
Scotland will 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 (2 goals, five assists), including scoring and assisting three objectives at Hampden Park.
Scotland manager Steve Clarke was frustrated with his side’s safeguarding and admitted it is tricky to find positives.
Roberto Martinez says he had been pleased with how tough his side claimed keeping a clean sheet was the most pleasing aspect and worked against Scotland within their 4-0 win.
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