Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

Fixtures & Results

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Scots no match for Dutch courage

Scotland 0 Netherlands 1

By Gavin McCafferty

Scotland began life after Gordon Strachan with a 1-0 friendly defeat by Holland at Pittodrie after Memphis Depay netted a controversial winner.

Depay looked offside as he netted from close range following a counter-attack five minutes before the interval.

An experimental Scotland side were otherwise comfortable at the back and had plenty of encouraging moments going forward but lacked firepower.

The match was overshadowed by Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan declaring hours before kick-off that caretaker manager Malky Mackay was definitely not a contender to succeed Strachan on a long-term basis.

But there were several others staking their claim for ongoing involvement as the SFA performance director handed starting debuts to Ryan Jack, Ryan Christie and Callum McGregor and a second cap for Kenny McLean.

There were also positional changes with left-back and new captain Kieran Tierney impressing in central defence after playing the final few games of Strachan's reign at right-back.

Scotland had the first sights of goal as Matt Phillips twice threatened to get in behind the Dutch defence. Both he and James Forrest had shots blocked.

Scotland were looking compact and comfortable when their opponents had possession.

Phillips overhit a pass to Forrest to take the momentum out of a promising attack. Holland quickly worked their way from the left-back position to the right wing and Ryan Babbel crossed for Depay to knock home from what looked like an offside position inside the six-yard box.

Scotland continued to get encouragement going forward. Ryan Fraser almost scored seconds after coming on as a 71st-minute sub when he shot inches wide before Phillips made a mess of a free header in the last minute.

Belfast Telegraph

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