Depay earns Netherlands win against Mackay’s Scotland

Netherlands striker Memphis Depay

Netherlands striker Memphis Depay opened the scoring from Ryan Babel’s cross

Memphis Depay’s first-half goal for the Netherlands sent Scotland to defeat under interim coach Malky Mackay.

Mackay gave debuts to Ryan Jack, Ryan Christie and Callum McGregor as the national team looked to overcome their failure to reach the World Cup.

Scotland played well in the friendly at Pittodrie, but fell behind as Depay finished off a swift counter-attack.

John McGinn, McGregor and substitutes Ryan Fraser and Jason Cummings came close to equalising after the break.

Mackay made his mark on the side, naming 20-year-old Celtic defender Kieran Tierney as captain at centre-half, on the occasion of only his ninth cap.

The friendly may be Mackay’s only game in charge, though, with Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan announcing before kick-off that McKay would revert to his performance director role and not be considered among the candidates to succeed Gordon Strachan.

Scotland winger Ryan Fraser<!–

Scotland winger Ryan Fraser almost equalised just after coming on as a substitute, but steered his effort wide

Pittodrie was never going to be mistaken for the centre of the football world. This was a friendly between two beaten nations, a pair of countries who will spend next summer in the same mournful state they were in two summers ago when Euro 2016 carried on without them.

For Scotland, this is the way of things. For the Netherlands, less so. The once brilliant Oranje are now in crisis and are putting themselves through the same kind of navel-gazing that the Scots have cornered the market in for nearly two decades.

This was largely pedestrian stuff. At least Mackay dished out some debut caps while he had the chance. Jack, the one-time Don who now hangs out at Ibrox, was booed briefly in the beginning by a portion of the home crowd, a cringe-making moment that was quickly hushed by the sound of other Scotland fans applauding him.

In Mackay’s experimental line-up Tierney, a 20-year-old “freak” as his mate McGregor describes him, looked comfortable in the centre of defence. Food for thought for whoever the SFA opts for as Strachan’s replacement.

Scotland had chances to go ahead, but couldn’t take them. Matt Phillips, the lone striker, had a shot blocked by Crystal Palace loanee Timothy Fosu-Mensah and, on the follow up, James Forrest had one charged down by Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake.

Netherlands captain Kevin Strootman and Scotland captain Kieran Tierney<!–

Scotland defender Kieran Tierney captained the national team in only his ninth international appearance

Tierney’s long ball out of defence then set Phillips away, the de facto striker getting the better of Virgil van Dijk, but not Jasper Cillessen in the Dutch goal. The captain then thundered in a shot from distance that forced Cillessen into a fine save.

The Scots weren’t exactly free-flowing, but they were on top. And then they were behind. Phillips gave the ball away at one end five minutes before the break and the Dutch, who had looked comatose to this point, went on the counter, Ryan Babel crossing for Depay to tap in from close range.

Mackay made a change at half-time, Charlie Mulgrew replacing Christophe Berra as Tierney’s partner at the back. Scotland carried on taking the game to the visitors and, on occasion, they did it pretty well.

McGinn lashed one just wide; McGregor, unusually quiet, hit one that Cillessen had to deal with; then, just after coming on the pitch, Fraser scampered away after being picked out by Tierney. Returning to his old stomping ground, the former Aberdeen winger took a beautiful first touch, then cut inside the Dutch defence before pushing his shot just wide. Another decent moment, another moment of frustration.

The stand-in manager was surprisingly reluctant to utilise his bench more. Energy fell out of the Scotland performance but still Fraser and Mulgrew remained his only changes.

Scotland striker Jason Cummings and interim manager Malky Mackay<!–

Scotland interim manager sent striker Jason Cummings on late in the game, and the striker came close to an equaliser

The Dutch had little interest in extending themselves in pursuit of a second and Scotland weren’t accurate enough to take advantage of the visitors’ desperately creaky defence.

Cummings came on for his debut with just five minutes left and within seconds he was in on goal, but his first-time shot was too weak to trouble Cillessen unduly. There was one more chance and that went the same way as the others – Phillips, in space, getting his header all wrong and putting it wide.

Against a side that was almost an affront to the great, but faded, traditions of Dutch football, Scotland were just too wasteful to give Mackay a result in his one shot at managing the national team.

Live Text

Match ends, Scotland 0, Netherlands 1.

Second Half ends, Scotland 0, Netherlands 1.

Foul by Memphis Depay (Netherlands).

Ryan Jack (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Matt Phillips (Scotland) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ryan Fraser with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Steven Berghuis.

Attempt saved. Jason Cummings (Scotland) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Matt Phillips.

Substitution, Scotland. Jason Cummings replaces Callum McGregor.

Attempt blocked. Ryan Babel (Netherlands) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Georginio Wijnaldum.

Offside, Netherlands. Kevin Strootman tries a through ball, but Joël Veltman is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. Georginio Wijnaldum (Netherlands) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Memphis Depay.

Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Nathan Aké.

Substitution, Netherlands. Steven Berghuis replaces Quincy Promes.

Kevin Strootman (Netherlands) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Kevin Strootman (Netherlands).

John McGinn (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Ryan Fraser (Scotland) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Kieran Tierney.

Substitution, Netherlands. Joël Veltman replaces Timothy Fosu-Mensah.

Substitution, Scotland. Ryan Fraser replaces James Forrest.

Attempt missed. Charlie Mulgrew (Scotland) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Ryan Jack.

Attempt saved. Callum McGregor (Scotland) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by John McGinn.

Foul by Kevin Strootman (Netherlands).

John McGinn (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Kevin Strootman (Netherlands) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ryan Christie (Scotland).

John McGinn (Scotland) is shown the yellow card.

Georginio Wijnaldum (Netherlands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by John McGinn (Scotland).

Foul by Quincy Promes (Netherlands).

Kenny McLean (Scotland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Memphis Depay (Netherlands) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Attempt blocked. Kevin Strootman (Netherlands) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Quincy Promes.

Attempt blocked. Kevin Strootman (Netherlands) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ryan Babel.

Attempt missed. Matt Phillips (Scotland) header from the left side of the six yard box is too high. Assisted by James Forrest with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Virgil van Dijk.

Foul by Karim Rekik (Netherlands).

Matt Phillips (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Callum McGregor (Scotland) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by James Forrest.

Memphis Depay (Netherlands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Charlie Mulgrew (Scotland).

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