Holland 2-2 Scotland: Memphis Depay scores late to spare the Dutch’s blushes and prevent Steve Clarke’s Covid-hit side from a big scalp in Portugal ahead of Euro 2020
- Scotland were denied a big win over Holland thanks to a late strike from Holland
- Scotland took a surprise lead after 11 minutes through a Jack Hendry strike
- The Dutch struck back six minutes later after Memphis Depay found the net
- Steve Clarke’s side went ahead again after an hour thanks to Kevin Nisbet
- However, Depay struck again to salvage a draw and avoid embarrassment
- Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here.
Those Scotland players who did not make it to Portugal for this warm-up friendly were always going to overshadow their team-mates on the pitch, despite an admirable display as they lost a late lead to Holland.
Seven of Steve Clarke’s squad remained at their training base in Spain after Sheffield United’s John Fleck tested positive for Covid-19. The boss made all the right noises about their absence being ‘precautionary’ and ‘ultra cautious’.
But after conceding that six players had been in ‘close proximity’ to Fleck, it leaves the fear that more cases could yet emerge.
Scotland earned a strong draw ahead of the Euros after playing the Netherlands in Portugal
Kevin Nesbit came off the bench to put the Scots ahead after finishing an Andy Robertson ball
The Hibernian striker raises his hand in celebration after putting Steve Clarke’s side ahead
Jack Hendry opened the scoring to shock the Dutch with a fine right-footed strike from range
The 26-year-old defender wheels away in celebration with Stuart Armstrong after scoring
Holland (5-3-2): Krul; Dumfries, Timber (Berghuis 69), de Vrij (de Jong 85), de Ligt, Wijndal (van Aanholt 69); Wijnaldum (Gravenberch 31), de Roon, de Jong (Klaassen 31); Weghorst (Promes 69), Depay
Subs not used: Bizot, Koopmeiners, Malen, Stekelenburg, van de Beek, Veltman
Scorer: Depay (17, 89)
Booked: De Ligt
Manager: Frank de Boer
Scotland (4-3-3): Gordon; Robertson (Taylor 69), Cooper (Gallagher 62), Hendry, Tierney (McKenna 69); Turnbull (Gilmour 81), McGregor, Armstrong; Christie, Forrest (Fraser 61), Dykes (Nisbet 61)
Subs not used: McLaughlin, McTominay
Scorer: Hendry (11), Nisbet (64)
Manager: Steve Clarke
The concern is amplified given goalkeeper David Marshall, defenders Grant Hanley and Stephen O’Donnell, midfielder John McGinn and striker Che Adams are all likely starters for their opening game of Euro 2020 a week on Monday.
They have all tested negative in the past 48 hours, but Clarke will nonetheless be sweating on their wellbeing.
At least on the field in Faro he would have seen plenty from which to take reassurance, especially the manner in which they unsettled one of the tournament’s more fancied nations.
The Netherlands fired back quickly as Memphis Depay equalised with a strong finish
Former Man United star Depay celebrates with Dutch captain Georginio Wijnaldum
Armstrong looks aghast after he appeals for a foul in the first half of the action in Portugal
Scotland started like this actually was their Group D opener against Czech Republic, and it was no surprise when they led on 10 minutes.
Southampton’s Stuart Armstrong and Celtic defender Jack Hendry ambushed a pair of orange jerseys in midfield – such pressing was a recurring theme – and the latter strode forward before guiding his first international goal into the bottom corner from 20 yards.
So much for Clarke being a conservative coach, the attack had begun with a shot from Hendry’s fellow centre-back Kieran Tierney, who refused to be shackled by his posting and stepped from defence all evening.
Vitor Jorge Fernandes Ferreira brandishes a yellow card towards Juventus’ Matthijs de Ligt
Frank de Boer will be far from convinced after his side just about salvaged a draw in Portugal
Holland soon equalised when Memphis Depay – the Manchester United flop who is now his country’s talisman – volleyed in from Georginio Wijnaldum’s cushioned header.
But Scotland were a constant threat on the break and one such counter was climaxed with a second on 62 minutes, skipper Andy Robertson sweeping across goal for substitute Kevin Nisebt to turn in. Depay, though, slammed home a late free-kick to claim a barely deserved draw for the Dutch.
Clarke, then, has few worries about those on the pitch. The same cannot be said for his absentees.
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