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Scotland 0-4 Belgium: 3 Reasons why Roberto Martinez's men won their sixth successive qualifying game | Euro 2020 Qualifiers

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10 Sep 2019, 08:10 IST

Romelu Lukaku broke the deadlock for Belgium with a calm finish.
Romelu Lukaku broke the deadlock for Belgium with a calm finish.

With Scotland needing a positive result against the away side, it was Belgium who did the scoring at the Hampden Park. As things stand, Steve Clark's men have a very remote chance of featuring in next year's continental tournament.

Contrary to what the scoreline suggests, the Scots began the game showing plenty of purpose against a well-organised Belgium side. However, Belgium punished the home side for a sloppy pass as Romelu Lukaku finished a brisk counter-attack helmed by Kevin De Bruyne.

Going behind after such a promising start sucked the life out of Scotland XI. In spite of them pushing for an equaliser, Roberto Martinez's side seldom looked uncomfortable. Kevin De Bruyne's gate crashing spell of 23 minutes - during which he registered 3 assists - put the Belgian Red Devils in the driver's seat.

In the second half, it was all about damage control for Scotland as they tried to keep the ball moving around. Martinez's side stuck to their plan of hitting the hosts on the counter. To put the icing on the cake, Romelu Lukaku assisted De Bruyne for Belgium's fourth goal of the night.

Without further delay, let's jump straight into 3 reasons how Belgium inflicted the heaviest home defeat in the qualifying stages for Scotland.


#3 Lack of responsibility on the ball hurt Scotland the most

Toby Alderweireld scored Belgium's second goal from a corner-kick.
Toby Alderweireld scored Belgium's second goal from a corner-kick.

Apart from a period of initial pressure from Scotland, there was never a passage of play where Belgium found it difficult to survive, even when they allowed the hosts to have the ball. The plan was clear, to catch Scotland on the counter.

With Belgium's tactics known to the Scotsmen, they failed to avoid situations which led to the No.1 ranked side scoring against them. Failure to avoid threats from set-pieces were the Tartan Army's biggest undoing in the game. The home side completely switched off after taking the corner, after which De Bruyne expertly slid the ball to Lukaku, who opened the scoring.

Failure to stop the counter-attack with the help of cynical fouls was the most baffling bit of play on the night as Scotland had to avoid simple errors.

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The three goals that followed had a similar template, with Scotland losing the ball in open areas and allowing Belgian forwards to break at pace.

While talking about the first goal, Belgium's next two were similar and avoidable too. Only if Scotland remained alert on those set-pieces, the story would have been very different for the home side.

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