WORLD CUP REPORT: Scotland 0-2 Belgium

Europe

Scotland followed up the previous qualifying win over Croatia in Zagreb with a display that saw them well beaten by a magnificent Belgian side.

Manchester United new boy Fellaini came close to opening the scoring for the Belgians, it was great play by Chadli to leave James Forrest for dead before floating a cross over for the midfielder to head just wide. Scotland responded, they engineered a good move down the Belgian left, with the ball finally falling to Brown 24-yards out and he smacked it with sheer power past the dive of Courtois, unluckily for the hosts it went beyond the post. Belgium despite that effort from Brown made their class and dominance pay, Chelsea youngster Kevin De Bruyne pulled the ball back for Steven Defour to take it in his stride and calmly side-foot past the diving Marshall.

Not long into the second period Scotland almost levelled through Norwich full-back Steven Whittaker; he made the unchallenged run forward before unleashing a shot just wide. Scotland came close yet again in their only real spell of pressure, Watford debutant Anya beat his man and found Maloney in the area but the little Wigan forward’s half-volley went just over. De Bruyne the stand-out player, came close twice to doubling the visitors’ lead – first through a free-kick that was whipped in almost caught Marshall out at the back-post which forced the Cardiff City ‘keeper to tip it over the bar, then his long-range effort that forced Marshall into a decent sprawling save to keep the score at one-nil. As the Red Devils continued to dominate and show their class, the second goal came with a minute left of normal time, a few defensive errors from Whittaker and Hanley allowed Everton’s speedster Kevin Mirallas through one-on –one with Marshall, he applied the finish with no hesitation.

It was a thoroughly deserved Belgian victory as it looks as if they have one-foot in Brazil next summer, meanwhile for Scotland they did okay without being spectacular, against a vastly superior side, Strachan will have some positives to take into the game against Macedonia on Tuesday.

JamieCurrie

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