Scotland 1-2 Russia: Steve Clarke’s side suffer Euro 2020 blow

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From Tom English
BBC Scotland in Hampden
Scotland hopes of automatic qualification for Euro 2020 dangle with a thread after Russia came from behind to win at Hampden.
John McGinn gave Steve Clarke’s side the guide, but slack defending allowed until the own purpose of Stephen O’Donnell put Russia ahead Artem Dzyuba to strike.
Scotland sit six points adrift of the Russians in fourth with five games to play along with the top two qualifying.
Belgium is hosted by them, the top ranked team at Glasgow on Monday, in the world.
Barring an improbable sequence of outcomes, Scotland’s qualification hopes will rest having a high-value place already secured, on the Nations League play-offs.
This is the country’s first competitive home defeat because champions Germany triumphed 3-2 four decades ago.
Scotland might have dropped heavily, together with the Russians hitting the woodwork twice and with an attempt hacked off the line and faded badly.
It began about the assault with Scotland and ended on the attack with Scotland – it had been the piece in the middle that has been the problem.
Before the final whistle you lost count of the number of times the ball was given by Scotland away and made their lifestyles murderously. Long prior to the final whistle you lost count of the number of chances Russia neglected to take in their pursuit of a goal.
In the reckoning, they didn’t require that next. Two did the occupation. Two was sufficient to effectively kill off. Following the first boon of aim, Scotland outclassed and were thoroughly outplayed.
There was hope. Considering that the plague that descended on Scotland’s centre-halves – of them going down, four injured from the – there was a introduction given to Leeds United captain Liam Cooper.
In the opposite end, Clarke proceeded with Oli McBurnie, a participant who turned together with the intensity of a man who had a lot to establish, that is what exactly what he is, regardless of the eye-watering sum that Sheffield United splashed out for him in the summer.
McBurnie had looked leaden and unthreatening in his prior appearances for his country, but he played with a role in what had been a fast launch by Scotland. Even before the opening goal they’d caused Russia some bother, Stephen O.Donnell hooking an attempt on goal from close range only for Guilherme to receive his body in the way to block it.
The goal came at the 11th minute and the area still left a fair racket when McGinn scored though Hampden had vast unoccupied sections. Maybe it all started by Ryan Fraser, his crossover has been crushed by Guilherme and falling to McGinn who took advantage of a gift of a chance from the left with a rescue.
Guilherme was unnerved by the existence of McBurnie when the ball was in the air out of Fraser, the striker failing to make contact but success in distracting the goalkeeper. McBurnie looked hungry and effective in those minutes.
It was a encouraging and bright start in the Scots, but as the half wore on the Russia came into it. A hesitancy and anxiety from the home team helped them. Energy and that accuracy that they had evaporated. They could not keep the ball, couldn’t attract any composure to their drama. Pass that was misplaced lost pass. Trouble was on its approach.
It came when Scotland place strain and gave away possession. To add Robertson helped it to Dzyuba, In attempting to clear the ball away from Aleksandr Golovin.
The striker using the prolific record had space and the time he needed to knock his shot past David Marshall. It was his 21st goal in 37 games for his nation. What Scotland would provide for a target machine like the Zenit lighthouse.
Russia took complete control of it then, helped along their merry way from the desperate inability to hold on to the ball of Scotland. The number of times it was dropped by them and shipped Russia was remarkable.
Early in the second half that they started to the goal of pepper Scotland. Charlie Mulgrew had to control down a piledriver out of Golovin. Two minutes after, Golovin broke free but sliced his shot wide. The wastefulness of scotland was asking to be punished, it had been begging for this.
Over the flip side , they got what was coming. It was. Aleksei Ionov chose it up, played a chunk in behind Cooper to Golovin who uttered it to the veteran Yuri Zhirkov.
The very first bit was obtained by the Russian, but O’Donnell sliding to avert risk, got the last touch. Whoever is imputed with the goal matters. Russia had the lead and they never looked just like giving up it .
The miracle was that they didn’t add to it. Mario Fernandes made a save from Marshall, Magomed Ozdoev shot struck a pole, Zhirkov’s campaign needed to be pushed off by the Scotland goalkeeper in another Russian wave.
Scotland did not deserve to get it together and pushed hard for an equaliser but did not get it. Belgium next on Monday. Life doesn’t get any simpler for his or her players along with Clarke.
Aleksandr Golovin ran . He was on another level to anyone in blue, buzzing around, picking up loose balls and using vision and his intelligence to induce Scotland no end of terror. A world-class player.
More to follow.

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