Scotland punished by Netherlands in Euros warm-up


Scotland were left to rue missed chances as they fell to a heavy defeat against the Netherlands in Amsterdam.

Steve Clarke’s side impressed for long spells but were wasteful in front of goal as they were reminded of the challenge they will face at Euro 2024.

Ryan Christie hit the bar before Tijjani Reijnders’ stunning strike saw the Dutch take the lead before the break.

Gini Wijnaldum headed in their second after Scotland striker Lawrence Shankland passed up a perfect opportunity to level the game with Wout Weghorst and Donyell Malen adding to Scotland’s woes late on.

Scotland have now conceded 18 goals in six games, with just three friendlies before they take on hosts Germany in the opening game of Euro 2024 on June 14.

Scotland with lessons to learn after late collapse

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - MARCH 22: Scotland...s Lawrence Shankland after hitting the crossbar during an international friendly match between the Netherlands and Scotland at the Johan Cruyff Arena, on March 22, 2024, in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
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Lawrence Shankland after hitting the crossbar at 1-0

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 including 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.

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - MARCH 22: Scotland's Ryan Christie hits the crossbar with a first half chance during an international friendly match between the Netherlands and Scotland at the Johan Cruyff Arena, on March 22, 2024, in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
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Ryan Christie came close for Scotland

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 moments 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.

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - MARCH 22: Tijjani Reijnders celebrates after scoring to make it 1-0 The Netherlands during an international friendly match between the Netherlands and Scotland at the Johan Cruyff Arena, on March 22, 2024, in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
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Tijjani Reijnders’ stunning strike opened the scoring for the Netherlands

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 as 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.

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - MARCH 22: Wout Weghorst scores to make it 3-0 Netherlands during an international friendly match between the Netherlands and Scotland at the Johan Cruyff Arena, on March 22, 2024, in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
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Wout Weghorst scored to make it 3-0 Netherlands

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.

What’s next for Scotland?

Scotland are back in action again on Tuesday when they take on Northern Ireland at Hampden Park in an international friendly; kick-off 7.45pm.

Steve Clarke’s side then play two more international friendlies against Gibraltar away on June 3 and Finland at home on June 7 before beginning their Euro 2024 campaign against hosts Germany on June 14.



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