SCOTLAND were off colour, off target and off the pace as they lost 3-1 to England in the 150th Anniversary Match at Hampden this evening.
There was also bad news from Norway where the hosts beat Georgia 2-1 in the Scots’ Euro group in the game in which a draw would have seen Steve Clarke’s men guaranteed qualification for the 2024 Finals in Germany.
Now they face Spain in Seville next month in a crucial confrontation – and gaffer Clarke must hope his men have got a disappointing performance out of their system.
Callum McGregor was blameless as he patrolled the midfield in his usual studied manner, but dreadful defensive lapses undid Scotland.
CALM BEFORE THE STORM…Callum McGregor strolls on Hampden pitch ahead of the kick-off.
Two strikes in exactly two minutes and 47 seconds sent the home side in trailing 2-0 at the interval.
Some slack play allowed Phil Fodden to divert a shot past Angus Gunn in the 32nd minute and then an uncharacteristic lapse from skipper Andy Robertson presented No.2 to Jude Bellingham.
The Liverpool defender went some way to making amends when he fired in a low cross in the 67th minute which was deflected past Aaron Ramsdale by Harry McGuire for the Scots’ solitary effort to worry the England keeper.
John McGinn, who had struggled throughout, missed a superb chance for an equaliser when he mistimed a header from the left that saw the ball hit his shoulder and fly tamely over the crossbar.
Harry Kane exploited gaps at the back when he rolled his side’s third goal past the helpless Gunn in the 82nd minute.
Clarke now has some work ahead to get his players back on track for Germany in the summer.