Well, what can you say? The defeat by Denmark allowed Scotland to record their fifth defeat in a row at International level in a row for the first time. Scotland may have only conceded one goal but the Danish side dominated and dictated the whole game. The gulf between the two sides was clear and shows that the much criticised FIFA rankings are not that far off the mark. The goal for Denmark, which came from the head of Ebbe Sand, was the icing on the cake as far as the football lesson handed out last night. Scotland did not have much to celebrate or admire in Berti Vogts ‘best team’ but just about pass marks were earned by Kevin McNaughton and Gary Naysmith.
Kyle heads the ball past Henriksen
Scotland did start brightly with a long ball from Davie Weir's finding Dundee United’s Steven Thompson. His way towards goal was blocked so he laid the ball into the Paul Lambert path but the captain’s shot missed the target. It took only 8 minutes for Denmark to find their way to goal and back again in celebratory mood. Poor marking by the defence left Dennis Rommedahl free on the right for some reason. His driven cross was headed past Rab Douglas by the unmarked Sand.
Scotland tried to comeback and some nice work between Naysmith and Lambert on the left ended in an ineffectual corner. Rangers’ Peter Lovenkrands then sent panic in the home defence with his searing pace before the ball was put out for a corner which nearly ended in a goal. Douglas misjudged the cross which allowed Christian Poulsen to send a drive goalwards. Thank goodness for Robbie Stockdale who cleared the ball off the line.
Bogelund takes the ball from Thompson
Scotland found it difficult to deal with the formation of the Danes, who liked to play with four up front. Even with Jon Dahl Tomasson being man marked by Maurice Ross, their pace and movement made it difficult for the Scots to gain possession. Towards the end of the first half, Douglas in the home goal had to be alive to the threat from Thomas Gravesen (who sent in a long-range effort on the 35 minute mark) and Tomasson (Douglas had to get down smartly to save his effort).
Scotland started the second half in much the same way as the moving swiftly on the attack. Ferguson sent in a nice chip for Thompson to be put through on goal. Unfortunately, Thompson managed to miss-hit his shot straight at Thomas Sorensen The Danes were really in control of the game and Douglas did well to hold a shot that arrived through a crowd of legs. Douglas also had to be lively just after the hour mark, when Tomasson sent in a powerful drive. The Celtic man was in the right place to deal with that and managed to stop Lovenkrands in his tracks just a minute later.
Thompson and Denmark's Martin Laursen fight for the ball
Scotland were toiling to make any headway and put Sorensen, in the visitors goal, under any real pressure. The Danes were looking to kill that game they had dominated and came close with seven minutes to go. Substitute Claus Jensen came within inches of getting the second sending a shot curling just outside of the post. Scotland followed that late in the game with Kyle sending in a header which went narrowly wide. Perhaps it would have been unjustified to equalise after the poor display over the ninety minutes.
Scotland: Douglas, Ross, Weir, Dailly, Stockdale, Ferguson, Lambert, McNaughton, Naysmith, Kyle, Thompson. Subs: Sullivan, Dobie, Johnston, Crainey, Wilkie, Graham Alexander, Severin, Williams, Paul Gallacher, McInnes
Denmark: Sorensen, Bogelund, Laursen, Niclas Jensen, Henriksen, Poulsen, Gravesen, Sand, Tomasson, Rommedahl, Lovenkrands. Subs: Lustu, Gronkjaer, Michaelsen, Claus Jensen, Skov-Jensen, Wieghorst, Silberbauer
Referee: L Irvine (Ireland)