Scotland crumble in Amsterdam as Netherlands claim comfortable friendly win

By Sports Desk March 22, 2024

A late collapse by Scotland saw Steve Clarke’s side lose 4-0 to the Netherlands in their friendly encounter in Amsterdam.

The visitors controlled much of the first half and hit the goal frame through Ryan Christie but the Dutch took the lead five minutes from the break with a Tijjani Reijnders thunderbolt.

Scotland continued to create and miss chances in the Johan Cruijff ArenA – as did the Netherlands – before Scotland striker Lawrence Shankland hit the bar in the 62nd minute with only Dutch goalkeeper Mark Flekken to beat.

It was a glorious chance for Scotland and they were made to pay 10 minutes later when Georginio Wijnaldum headed in a second and then goals from substitutes Wout Weghorst and Donyell Malen in the 84th and 86th minutes turned a good performance on its head as Clarke now looks to get back on track against Northern Ireland at Hampden Park on Tuesday night.

Many of the Tartan Army had clamoured for in-form Hearts striker Shankland to be handed a start and he will know he should have scored to cap off a good performance.

Keeper Angus Gunn was back after injury along with several familiar faces such as captain Andrew Robertson and Kieran Tierney, with the visitors backed by around 2,400 travelling fans.

Ronald Koeman’s side had a mixture of youth and experience but included top names such as captain Virgil Van Dijk and another former Celtic defender, Jeremie Frimpong, with Memphis Depay leading the line.

But the Scots started with confidence, Shankland’s touches were assured, full-back Nathan Patterson stretched the Dutch down the right-hand side with Robertson working the left flank.

However, there was danger when Cody Gakpo went clean through on the Scotland goal but he failed to finish and was eventually flagged offside.

After midfielder Scott McTominay was booked after just nine minutes for fouling Xavi Simons, Shankland headed a Patterson cross over the bar.

Then, in the 18th minute, midfielder Billy Gilmour raced down the right and his cross was met by the head of Christie but Netherlands keeper Flekken tipped the ball on to the bar and it did not fall kindly for Shankland.

Gakpo’s blatant dive inside the Scotland penalty area did not fool Belgian referee Erik Lambrechts and moment later at the other end McGinn flicked a Christie cross over the bar.

However, the Scots walked into a sucker punch just before the break when AC Milan midfielder Reijnders took a pass from Gakpo and, with little pressure on him, measured his shot from 25 yards and arrowed it high past the helpless Gunn.

McTominay had a shot blocked by Reijnders inside the Netherlands box at the start of the second half but Gunn had to make a great save from Depay’s shot on the turn.

More excitement followed at both ends.

McGinn’s shot was parried by Flekken before Christie headed a cross from the Villa player past a post and then Gunn saved from Gakpo’s 20-yard drive.

When Shankland found himself through against Flekken with the goal beckoning, his shot clipped the bar on the way over and he was soon replaced by Che Adams, with John Souttar and Lewis Ferguson also coming on.

However, the Netherlands doubled their lead with a simple goal, Gakpo’s cross being headed in by Wijnaldum from eight yards out.

McTominay headed a cross from substitute Anthony Ralston over the bar to continue the theme of missed chances before Scotland folded as Weghorst headed in a corner and fellow substitute Malen ran through to grab a fourth – and the damage could have been greater.

Related items

  • No changes as Brazil confirm final Copa America squad No changes as Brazil confirm final Copa America squad

    Dorival Junior has stuck with the same 26-man squad he provisionally selected for Brazil's 2024 Copa America campaign.

    Juventus' Bremer, Atalanta midfielder Ederson and Porto forward Pepe were all called up when CONMEBOL announced the squads were being expanded from 23 players to 26.

    The Brazilian had already had to make changes after Manchester City's Ederson was ruled out due to an injury sustained at the end of the Premier League season, with Rafael brought in to replace him.

    Lucas Paqueta also keeps his place after the Brazilian Football Association (CBF) confirmed he would be allowed to stay with the squad despite being charged by the England Football Association (FA) for allegedly breaching betting rules.

    Casemiro, Gabriel Jesus and Thiago Silva had already been left out of the provisional squad announced in May, while Richarlison and Neymar are both missing due to injury.

    Brazil are nine-time winners of the Copa America and will begin their campaign against Costa Rica on June 24 before also facing Paraguay and Colombia in Group D.

    Final Brazil squad: Alisson (Liverpool), Bento (Atletico PR), Rafael (Sao Paolo), Beraldo (PSG), Bremer (Juventus), Eder Militao (Real Madrid), Gabriel (Arsenal), Marquinhos (PSG), Danilo (Juventus), Yan Couto (Girona), Guilherme Arana (Atletico MG), Wendell (Porto), Andreas Pereira (Fulham), Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle), Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa), Ederson (Atalanta), Joao Gomes (Wolves), Lucas Paqueta (West Ham), Endrick (Palmeiras), Evanilson (Porto), Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal), Pepe (Porto), Raphinha (Barcelona), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Savinho (Girona), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid).

  • Scotland boss Clarke 'kicked backsides and gave cuddles' after Germany rout Scotland boss Clarke 'kicked backsides and gave cuddles' after Germany rout

    Steve Clarke says he had to "kick a couple of backsides and give some cuddles" after Scotland were thrashed by Germany in their Euro 2024 opener, but he is certain his team's self-belief remains intact.

    Scotland suffered the heaviest defeat in an opening game at any European Championship on Friday, being routed 5-1 by a rampant Germany team in Munich.

    Florian Wirtz, Jamal Musiala, Kai Havertz, Niclas Fullkrug and Emre Can all scored for the hosts, while Ryan Porteous was sent off for a horror challenge on Ilkay Gundogan.

    It was the first time Scotland had conceded five or more goals in a game since a 5-1 friendly defeat to the United States in 2012, and the first time in a competitive match since a 6-0 loss to the Netherlands in Euro 2004 qualifying 21 years ago.

    At the other end, meanwhile, Scotland failed to record a shot on target in a major tournament game for the first time since Euro 1992 (0-1 versus Netherlands).

    Asked what he had done in response to the defeat, Clarke said on Sunday: "Kick a couple of backsides, give some cuddles, make the players understand why the Germany result happened and make sure it doesn't happen again.

    "I've spoken to one or two players around the squad whose opinion I value. I had a good chat with a few of them.

    "I think their interpretation of what we asked them to do was wrong, so we've worked on that."

    Scotland must now pick themselves up for Wednesday's meeting with Switzerland, who began their own Group A campaign with an impressive 3-1 win over Hungary.

    The Tartan Army could lose their first two matches at a tournament (World Cup/Euros) for the fourth time, having done so at the 1954 and 1986 World Cups and Euro 1992.

    However, Clarke insists confidence in the camp is still high, adding: "We believe in ourselves, there's no danger of that. We know it was a bad night.

    "We have to accept all the criticism that comes our way and then we have to put it right. To be in football, you have to be very resilient."

  • Raphinha hits back after Mbappe's criticism of South American football Raphinha hits back after Mbappe's criticism of South American football

    Raphinha has responded to Kylian Mbappe's claims that the Euros are harder than the World Cup by reminding the Frenchman who beat them in the 2022 final.

    In an interview, Mbappe noted that France had not won the European Championships in 24 years, which is something he will be looking to change this year.

    That observation then led to him saying, "The Euros is a difficult competition, more than a World Cup. All the teams know each other, and the style of soccer is similar. Group stages are difficult."

    However, Brazil's Raphinha was not happy with the 25-year-old's comparison, pointing out that Argentina prevented them from winning the World Cup in 2022.

    "Unfortunately for him and fortunately for us, he lost a World Cup against a South American team," Raphinha said in a press conference ahead of the Copa America.

    The Barcelona winger also referenced other comments made by Mbappe from a couple of years ago. The new Real Madrid star implied World Cup qualification was easier in South America than in Europe, and suggested the football "wasn't as advanced".

    Raphinha added, "I would like to see the European teams playing in the South American qualifiers on the fields where we play. That's when I'd see if it's easy or hard."

    Brazil begin their Copa America campaign against Costa Rica on June 24, while France will face Austria in their Euro 2024 opener on Monday.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.