Scotland defeated again after second-half capitulation in Russia

Scotland defeated again after second-half capitulation in Russia

Scotland 0 - 4 Russia

Scotland’s miserable European Championship qualifying campaign continued as a second-half capitulation resulted in a 4-0 defeat in Russia.

David Marshall had rarely been troubled before three goals in 13 minutes around the hour mark made it five defeats in seven qualifiers for the visitors.

Artem Dzyuba netted following two corners – the second game running Scotland have conceded twice in the same circumstances – and Magomed Ozdoev thumped home from long range.

Aleksandr Golovin slotted home from 10 yards in the 84th minute to make it a second consecutive four-goal loss for Steve Clarke’s side.

Clarke handed debuts to Michael Devlin, John Fleck and Lawrence Shankland, the latter from the bench, but he is still left seeking a way to turn around Scotland’s form after losing 13 goals in four successive defeats.

The latest loss officially ended Scotland’s remote hopes of a top-two finish and left them in fifth place in Group I, four points behind third-placed Cyprus.

With six centre-half options unavailable, Devlin came in alongside Charlie Mulgrew despite being dropped by Aberdeen on Saturday following a 5-0 defeat by Rangers. Clarke sprung a surprise at right-back with Liam Palmer preferred to Stephen O’Donnell for his second cap, the first coming in the 3-0 defeat in Kazakhstan which opened the campaign.

Fleck started in the absence of the suspended Scott McTominay and injured Kenny McLean, who withdrew on Wednesday, while Oliver Burke was handed the striker’s role.

Russia were making their first appearance in Moscow since knocking Spain out of the World Cup and they were eager to impress more than 70,000 fans.

Russia were playing their first match in Moscow since the World Cup (Steven Paston/PA)
Russia were playing their first match in Moscow since the World Cup (Steven Paston/PA)

The home full-backs pushed right up and Scotland survived some dangerous balls into the box with the help of some decent blocks and clearances.

Golovin curled a free-kick which brushed the top of the net after being tripped by Fleck and the Monaco playmaker forced the first save in the 40th minute when Marshall parried his 20-yard strike to safety. Soon after, Callum McGregor made a crucial penalty-box block.

Scotland had their first-half moments without ever getting a shot away. Burke caused problems up to a point with his running with the ball, but his decision-making and execution let him down at the crucial moments.

Oliver Burke tried to find a way through for Scotland (Steven Paston/PA)
Oliver Burke tried to find a way through for Scotland (Steven Paston/PA)

Robert Snodgrass almost got into good positions from the Alaves player’s lay-offs but lacked the pace to trouble the hosts.

Shankland came on at half-time and showed some good touches as Scotland improved in possession in the opening stages.

But they conceded from Russia’s first attack of the half in the 57th minute. Golovin swung over a corner and Dzyuba held off Mulgrew and volleyed into the top corner from eight yards.

The hosts doubled the lead three minutes later after stretching Scotland. The ball was laid back to Ozdoev 25 yards out and the midfielder lashed his shot into the top corner.

The chances kept coming. Dzyuba chipped a shot on to the bar from a tight angle three minutes later after Scotland appeared to have averted a counter-attack and the skipper dragged a shot wide after losing Devlin from a throw-in

The third came in the 70th minute after another corner. Russia took it short this time but Scotland switched off before Golovin swung a cross beyond the back post. Mario Fernandes sneaked round the back and headed back into the six-yard box and the outnumbered Dzyuba ultimately stabbed the ball home.

Russia scored four times without reply in the second half (Steven Paston/PA)
Russia scored four times without reply in the second half (Steven Paston/PA)

Substitute Ryan Christie almost had a golden chance to pull one back after a slack pass from Russia goalkeeper Guilherme but Georgi Dzhikiya produced a goal-saving slide tackle.

Christie soon got Scotland’s first shot on target but hit it straight at the keeper from 25 yards.

That was as good as it got for the Scots. Dzyuba soon set up Golovin to steer a shot just inside the post and the final whistle came as a relief to the visiting fans.

More on this topic

McCarthy: We’vebeen underdogsfrom the startMcCarthy: We’vebeen underdogsfrom the start

Randolph: 'We get written off a lot. The lads are used to it'Randolph: 'We get written off a lot. The lads are used to it'

Ireland's shape-shiftingIreland's shape-shifting

Our worst ever week but Mick can only play cards he’s dealtOur worst ever week but Mick can only play cards he’s dealt

More in this Section

Walsh and Smullen the stars of HRI awardsWalsh and Smullen the stars of HRI awards

Duignan becomes new Faithfuls chairDuignan becomes new Faithfuls chair

Kerr hails response  to hotel tragedyKerr hails response to hotel tragedy

Inter crash out after defeat to BarcaInter crash out after defeat to Barca


Lifestyle

Ray Liotta never planned to be an actor. He only signed up for drama classes in college in a bid to dodge the more academic subjects, and didn’t make his first film until he was 30.Both sides now: Ray Liotta on his 40 year career

I am Jesus Christ! No, don’t worry, this writer’s ego isn’t quite that big. We won’t be turning water into wine. Rather, ‘I Am Jesus Christ’ is the name of a new game just announced on Steam.GameTech: The new video game 'I am Jesus Christ'

Johnny ‘Fang’ Murphy, frontman with Cork group The Stargazers, tells Ellie O’Byrne about the cultural milestones on his musical journey.Getting into the swing of things: Johnny 'Fang' Murphy on his musical journey

Clean skincare is cleaning up, but does it even mean anything in particular?The Skin Nerd: When clean does not always mean better

More From The Irish Examiner