Belgium beat Scotland 3-0


Belgium, who are currently the best team in the world according to the FIFA rankings, won comfortably 3-0 at home in Brussels against Scotland in their 4th Euro 2020 qualifier.

Despite the defeat, Scotland showed a much improved performance compared to just three matches ago in March when they struggled to break down the worst team in the world San Marino, who are ranked 211th. Since then they have replaced their manager and have picked up 3 points at home against Cyprus at the weekend.

One of Scotland’s heroes from the Cyprus match, captain Andy Robertson who scored the opening goal, unexpectedly pulled out of the squad to face Belgium at the last minute with a hamstring injury. He was replaced by Kilmarnock’s Greg Taylor, who made his full international debut aged 21.

Scotland almost survived until the break, but in first-half injury time Romelu Lukaku headed the Belgians in front. The Manchester United striker got his and Belgium’s second goal early after the interval when he responded quickest to a shot from Kevin De Bruyne that David Marshall had saved.

Belgium were clearly dominating the match but Scotland really should have got back into the game in the 83rd minute when Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna was clean through on goal with only the goalkeeper to beat. Thibaut Courtois pulled off a great save and James Forrest then failed to convert the rebound.

If Scotland had scored at that late stage it would have made for an interesting finish to the match. However, instead Belgium continued to create chances and extended their lead with a third goal in the second minute of injury time with a strike from Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne.

Scotland’s new manager Steve Clarke said after the match:

“My overall impression is that from what I saw over the past 10 days I’ve got a really good group of players who are really committed to their country and who want to get better and want to improve. We were competitive in that game tonight against the best team in the world.

There were a lot of positives but obviously we are professionals and we don’t like to lose.”

The victory for Belgium leaves them top of qualifying Group I with a maximum 12 points, three points ahead of Russia who won this evening 1-0 at home to Cyprus. Kazakhstan moved ahead of Scotland on goal difference on six points after they won 4-0 at home to San Marino earlier in the day.


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