Euro 2020 qualifiers
No disgrace in Brussels defeat for plucky Scots
Positives: Steve Clarke (pic: SNS Group).
Belgium 3 Scotland 0
King Baudouin Stadium
With just two games into his tenure as Scotland manager, it’s too early to judge what impact Steve Clarke may have on the national team’s fortunes.
However, after a gutsy display against the team ranked No. 1 in the world, it would appear the former Kilmarnock boss is laying solid foundations for the future.
After struggling to see off Cyprus at Hampden Park at the weekend, many thought the Scots were heading for a hiding in Brussels, a feeling not helped when it emerged that captain Andy Robertson would miss the game through injury with a hamstring problem.
Clarke’s side, though, was disciplined and well organised against star-studded opposition who, as expected, enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in Brussels.
“It was a difficult game for us but the commitment and attitude and the tactical discipline were excellent,” said Clarke, who saw his side fall behind to Romelu Lukaku’s first-half header as the interval approached.
“In my opinion I don’t think we deserved to lose a third goal at the end.
“Overall my impression is that what I saw over the ten days was a really good group of players are are really committed to their country.
“They want to get better, they want to improve. We were competitive in that game tonight against the best team in the world, ranked number one. So there were a lot of positives but obviously we are professional and we don’t like to lose.”
Lukaku netted his second of the game after 57 minutes, with Kevin De Bruyne completing the scoring in the 90th minute.
The result leaves Scotland sitting in fourth place in Group I, with Russia defeating Cyprus 1-0 at home and Kazakhstan seeig off San Marino 4-0.
Scotland: Marshall, O’Donnell, Mulgrew, McKenna, Taylor, Russell (Forrest, 67), McTominay, McLean, McGregor, Burke, Armstrong (Fraser, 32).
Goals: Belgium – Lukaku (45, 57); De Bruyne (90)