Scotland 0-4 Belgium: Brutal defeat all but ends group hopes for Steve Clarke’s side

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By Tom English
BBC Scotland in Hampden
Belgium inspired to some defeat of hapless Scotland to all end hopes of attaining Euro 2020 via their eligibility group.
The Manchester City guy netted the fourth and set Toby Alderweireld, Thomas Vermaelen along with Romelu Lukaku up.
Steve Clarke’s side should now look to the next year’s play-offs as their best hope of ending a 22-year wait for a look at a major finals.
Victory made it six wins out of six to Roberto Martinez’s Group I first leaders.
In fact, it might have been much worse for Scotland against the world’s number one rated side at Hampden, who played well within themselves.
Scotlandin fifth, today trail Russia by nine points and Belgium by 12 with four games to move.
Following the chastening 2-1 loss at home to Russia on Friday came this evisceration from Belgium – a Eden Hazard-less Belgium during that. Who wants the Real Madrid person once you have the brilliance of De Bruyne on top of weakness that is desperate from the home team, whose defence was paper-bag lean, with due apologies to newspaper bags?
Scotland, together with Kenny McLean, Ryan Christie, Robert Snodgrass and Matt Phillips coming in for John McGinn, Ryan Fraser, James Forrest and Oli McBurnie, had a couple early minutes of confidence after which a harrowing night thereafter, the terror series starting when they conceded the first goal after just two minutes. The Scots got done on the counter strike. They had been were unbelievably completely reckless and naive in leaving themselves open. Incompetence in an worldwide scale.
From the edge of their own box, Belgium went to the clappers after regaining ownership out of a Snodgrass free-kick, Dries Mertens paring away and locating De Bruyne who ran loose up the left. He had space and time and much, far too much excellence for the scrambling Scottish defence. He simply appeared, picked out Lukaku who had strolled in on goal and also the Internazionale striker did the remainder.
The entire thing – from Mertens to the trunk of Dave Marshall’s net to De Bruyne to Lukaku – took 14 seconds. It was the 49th goal for his nation of Lukaku. He would have had his own 50th nine minutes later if De Bruyne – who else? – dinked a ball . Lukaku didn’t clip it.
A Belgium target was not long in forthcoming. Now with a cross poked home by Vermaelen, once more it had been De Bruyne who made it. A disorganised mess at the rear , scotland, failed to pick up him What problems Clarke has in attempting to make something including a worthy of this title.
Phillips tested Thibaut Courtois however a shell-shocked Hampden when Belgium struck again after the half-hour mark sunk into despair. It was a free header from a De Bruyne corner, another goal. Alderweireld thumped on his campaign in off the bottom of Marshall’s crossbar and got from Charlie Mulgrew.
Three objectives and three De Bruyne helps. Belgium had scored 10 goals in games against the Scots at annually. The thing about this latest concealing was without having to move out of third gear that they pulled it off. They did not have to get anywhere near their best.
Marshall had to tip a shot by Mertens and De Bruyne missed a fantastic chance. Sandwiched in between was a dive from Stephen O’Donnell which attracted a yellow card rather than the penalty he looked to the Scotland right-back for. Scott McTominay went into the book and he will miss the trip to Russia next month, not that it matters. Scotland’s goose is well and truly cooked.
There has been a fourth to the Belgians, Lukaku being permitted to flip by some Scottish before locating the unplayable De Bruyne, that slotted a curler outside Marshall to heap on the pain to get what was left of the home audience defending. Many of these had led for home after that. One has to wonder just how many of them are going to return.
A masterclass in the playmaker with his passing, pace, never and awareness ending ability to locate space beguiling and bemusing Scotland in equal amount. A sumptuous finish on provided.

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