Belfast Telegraph

Archer not to blame for loss, says McLeish


By Ronnie Esplin

Alex McLeish sprang to the defence of debut keeper Jordan Archer following Scotland's 2-0 defeat by Peru at the Estadio Nacional in Lima yesterday.

The 25-year-old Millwall ace was preferred to the other two uncapped keepers in the squad, Scott Bain of Celtic and Hearts' Jon McLaughlin, for the friendly against a side who are going to the World Cup finals in Russia.

In a carnival atmosphere created by 40,000 locals, Archer made a couple of decent saves early on, but in the 36th minute when he ran to the edge of the box to help skipper Charlie Mulgrew deal with a through ball, he only succeeded in slicing it to Jefferson Farfan, whose shot was blocked by the hand of defender Scott McKenna for a spot-kick converted by Christian Cueva.

Two minutes into the second half, Archer got a hand to Farfan's close-range effort but failed to keep it out.

At the end, McLeish had handed out seven debuts - Archer, Stephen O'Donnell, Lewis Stevenson, Dylan McGeouch, Lewis Morgan, Graeme Shinnie and Chris Cadden.

However, the Scotland boss, who will turn his attention to the friendly against Mexico at the Azteca Stadium on Saturday, was not for apportioning all the blame for the loss to Archer.

He said: "Our goalkeeper felt that maybe he could have stayed at the first goal. But I wouldn't blame him for the second because it was a shot from point-blank range from Farfan, and maybe our defenders could have done better.

"The first goal was a big setback. We do have a lot of new players, a lot coming from the Scottish league which has not been recognised as a good league, but I was proud of them."

Belfast Telegraph


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