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Scotland beat Danes to earn home play-off

Published on: 16 November 2021

John Souttar made a scoring return to the Scotland side after a three-year absence

Scotland secured a seeded spot in the World Cup play-off semi-finals as goals from John Souttar and Che Adams stunned Denmark with a thrilling performance at Hampden Park.

Steve Clarke's Group F runners-up needed at least a point against the runaway leaders to give themselves a chance of a home draw.

But centre-half Souttar headed home in his first Scotland game since being sent off in a 2018 defeat by Israel and striker Adams burst clear to settle growing nerves after 86 minutes.

    Reaction & as it happened

Scotland had lived dangerously in the closing stages before that breakaway goal secured a sixth competitive victory in succession for the first time since winning six Home Nations matches in a row between March 1928 and February 1930.

It also ended Denmark's six-game winning run since losing 2-1 to England at the semi-final stage of the Euro 2020 finals this summer and ensured they fell short of ending their qualification campaign with a 100% record.

Scotland started with real intent as, spurred on by a sea of noise from the packed stands, they began at a frenetic pace.

However, Denmark survived the early pressure to create the first chance after 10 minutes and remind Scotland of their threat.

Midfielder Daniel Wass could only knock Rasmus Kristensen's cross wide off his hip from close range before centre-half Andreas Christensen sent a thundering drive just over from 25 yards.

It took Scotland 23 minutes to fashion their first clear sight at goal as Adams' low drive was denied by a superb Kasper Schmeichel stop, the goalkeeper sending out a telescopic leg to turn the striker's effort wide.

That sparked the Scots and, after an intense spell of pressure, Liam Cooper headed a John McGinn corner to the back post back into the path of fellow centre-half Souttar to nod past Schmeichel.

What a fairytale return it was for the 25-year-old, whose career has been plagued by injury since his first trio of caps three years ago, but he still had some defending to do - and lots of it.

A Wass shot deflected off Cooper's heel and just wide of the far post before Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon superbly clawed away striker Andreas Cornelius close-range header either side of the break as Denmark took the game to the home side.

Scotland defended desperately and were dangerous on the break, defender Kieran Tierney's shot-come-clearance from all of 35 yards clipping the crossbar before substitute Stuart Armstrong picked out Southampton team-mate Adams to curl in the second and send the home fans into raptures.

Man of the match - Che AdamsChe Adams worked tirelessly up front and came close a couple of times before being rewarded with his goalWhat did we learn?

Scotland continue their improvement since a disappointing start to the qualifying campaign - and the damp squib of the Euro 2020 finals.

It will be pointed out that Denmark were without a number of key players through injury, but Scotland too were shorn of the services of striking talisman Lyndon Dykes, central defenders Grant Hanley and Jack Hendry, plus the versatile Scott McTominay.

However, this is a side with enough strength in depth to be ranked 10th in the world - 32 places above the Scots - and who had only lost one goal in their previous nine group games.

A draw would probably have meant a more difficult away tie in the semi-finals, so Clarke's side delivered when it mattered - and they did so with the bonus of no suspensions looming for the five starters for whom a booking would have been ruled out of that crucial, one-off tie.

What's next?

Scotland head for a home tie in the World Cup play-off semi-finals from 24-29 March along with nine other group runners-up and two top finishers from the Nations League.

Player of the match

AdamsChe Adams

with an average of 8.76

    ScotlandScotlandScotlandDenmarkDenmarkDenmark

ScotlandAvgSquad number10Player nameAdamsAverage rating

8.76

Squad number7Player nameMcGinnAverage rating

8.72

Squad number5Player nameSouttarAverage rating

8.62

Squad number14Player nameGilmourAverage rating

8.55

Squad number1Player nameGordonAverage rating

8.51

Squad number8Player nameMcGregorAverage rating

8.39

Squad number16Player nameCooperAverage rating

8.35

Squad number6Player nameTierneyAverage rating

8.32

Squad number3Player nameRobertsonAverage rating

8.25

Squad number11Player nameChristieAverage rating

7.95

Squad number2Player nameO'DonnellAverage rating

7.88

Squad number17Player nameS ArmstrongAverage rating

7.59

Squad number4Player nameRalstonAverage rating

7.14

Squad number23Player nameMcLeanAverage rating

7.06

Squad number15Player nameMcKennaAverage rating

6.96

DenmarkAvgSquad number1Player nameSchmeichelAverage rating

5.79

Squad number4Player nameKjaerAverage rating

5.48

Squad number18Player nameWassAverage rating

5.28

Squad number11Player nameSkov OlsenAverage rating

5.24

Squad number5Player nameMaehleAverage rating

5.22

Squad number6Player nameChristensenAverage rating

5.18

Squad number13Player nameKristensenAverage rating

5.10

Squad number3Player nameVestergaardAverage rating

5.09

Squad number12Player nameJønssonAverage rating

5.04

Squad number21Player nameCorneliusAverage rating

5.02

Squad number10Player nameBruun LarsenAverage rating

4.94

Squad number7Player nameStageAverage rating

4.83

Squad number9Player nameUhreAverage rating

4.71

Squad number14Player nameDreyerAverage rating

4.61

Squad number23Player nameSistoAverage rating

4.55

Squad number15Player nameBahAverage rating

4.47

    Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text

Line-upsScotland

Formation 3-4-2-1

1Gordon5Souttar16Cooper6Tierney2O'Donnell14Gilmour8McGregor3Robertson7McGinn11Christie10Adams

    1Gordon5Souttar16Cooper6TierneySubstituted forRalstonat 87'minutes2O'Donnell14GilmourSubstituted forMcLeanat 74'minutes8McGregor3RobertsonSubstituted forMcKennaat 79'minutes7McGinn11ChristieSubstituted forS Armstrongat 80'minutes10Adams

Substitutes

    4Ralston12Clark13Porteous15McKenna17S Armstrong18Turnbull19Nisbet20Ferguson21McLaughlin22Brown23McLean

Denmark

Formation 3-4-3

1Schmeichel6Christensen4Kjaer3Vestergaard13Kristensen18Wass12Jønsson5Maehle11Skov Olsen21Cornelius10Bruun Larsen

    1SchmeichelBooked at 21mins6Christensen4Kjaer3Vestergaard13KristensenSubstituted forBahat 81'minutes18WassSubstituted forDreyerat 81'minutes12JønssonSubstituted forStageat 56'minutes5Maehle11Skov Olsen21CorneliusSubstituted forUhreat 72'minutes10Bruun LarsenSubstituted forSistoat 56'minutes

Substitutes

    2Maxsø7Stage9Uhre14Dreyer15Bah16Vindahl19Riis Jakobsen22Rønnow23Sisto

Referee:Alejandro José Hernández HernándezMatch StatsHome TeamScotlandAway TeamDenmarkPossessionHome41%Away59%ShotsHome9Away10Shots on TargetHome5Away2CornersHome10Away6FoulsHome6Away8Live TextPost update

Match ends, Scotland 2, Denmark 0.

90'+4'Full Time

Second Half ends, Scotland 2, Denmark 0.

90'+3'Post update

Corner, Denmark. Conceded by Kenny McLean.

90'+3'Post update

Pione Sisto (Denmark) wins a free kick on the right wing.

90'+3'Post update

Foul by Kenny McLean (Scotland).

90'Post update

Corner, Denmark. Conceded by Liam Cooper.

90'Post update

Attempt blocked. Joakim Maehle (Denmark) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Anders Dreyer.

89'Post update

Attempt blocked. Stuart Armstrong (Scotland) right footed shot from very close range is blocked. Assisted by Che Adams with a headed pass.

87'Substitution

Substitution, Scotland. Anthony Ralston replaces Kieran Tierney.

86'goalGoal!

Goal! Scotland 2, Denmark 0. Che Adams (Scotland) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Stuart Armstrong with a through ball following a fast break.

85'Post update

Attempt saved. Mikael Uhre (Denmark) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

83'Post update

Corner, Denmark. Conceded by Craig Gordon.

83'Post update

Attempt saved. Andreas Skov Olsen (Denmark) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

82'Post update

Corner, Denmark. Conceded by Kieran Tierney.

81'Substitution

Substitution, Denmark. Alexander Bah replaces Rasmus Kristensen.

81'Substitution

Substitution, Denmark. Anders Dreyer replaces Daniel Wass.

80'Substitution

Substitution, Scotland. Stuart Armstrong replaces Ryan Christie.

79'Substitution

Substitution, Scotland. Scott McKenna replaces Andrew Robertson because of an injury.

76'Post update

Attempt blocked. Pione Sisto (Denmark) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jannik Vestergaard.

74'Substitution

Substitution, Scotland. Kenny McLean replaces Billy Gilmour because of an injury.

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Source: bbc.com

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