Denmark coasted to a 2-0 victory over Scotland in World Cup qualifying as the nation’s hopes of reaching Qatar in 2022 suffer another blow.
Two goals inside a minute Daniel Wass and Joakim Mæhle downed Scotland on a disappointing night against superior opposition. Ryan Fraser had a late chance for Scotland as Billy Gilmour – on-loan at Norwich City from Chelsea – showed his potential on the international stage. Scotland are fourth in Group F with five points from five games.
Coming up against a side who made the last four of Euro 2020 was always going to be a challenge and for Scotland, it already looked an insurmountable after the opening quarter. Wass got in to open the scoring before Mæhle netted a lovely goal to round off an excellent Denmark team goal.
Scotland had opened the group with a win over Faroe Island and two draws with Austria and Israel. This was never one that maximum points were expected in but something was needed to aid the cause after a mixed start. A slate of call-offs did not help, Clarke only able to travel to Copenhagen with 18 players, three of which were goalkeepers.
Gilmour was featuring for the first time since his loan from Chelsea to Norwich City and he was the architect of everything good in attack. He controlled a pass brilliantly and fizzed a shot at Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, before Grant Hanley had plenty of Gilmour crosses put into him.
Fraser had the best opening. He found space on the edge of the box and Schmeichel was forced into his only real save of the night. Denmark were content with their two-goal cushion and are now leading Group F by five points. For Scotland, wins over Moldova and Austria over the next six days are a must. Here are three things we learned.
Scotland rallied in the second half but it was too little, too late. An average at best first half allowed Denmark to race ahead and a few Craig Gordon stops denied them from going further ahead. They sat off in the second half but Scotland were well-beaten, despite the second half chances.
The Chelsea and Norwich City man is going to be around this team for a long time. Fresh off his Man of the Match display against England at Euro 2020, he turned in a fine display on only his second Scotland start. He stands out from the rest.
The injuries were a big factor and it’s hard to ignore them. Stephen O’Donnell, Scott McTominay, Stuart Armstrong, Greg Taylor, James Forrest, Nathan Patterson, John McGinn and Kevin Nisbet were all out – and options were thin in Copenhagen when things were rough.
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