Vauxhall International Challenge Match
Scotland 0-1 Netherlands
Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Thursday, 9 November 2017, kick-off 7.45pm
Netherlands: Memphis Depay (40)
Scotland picked up their first loss of 2017 against the Netherlands despite an attacking performance in Aberdeen.
Managed by Malky Mackay in the interim, Scotland created a number of chances but were unable to find the net.
Memphis Depay scored the only goal of the night at the tail end of the first half in what was Scotland’s first match in preparation for Euro 2020 qualification.
Malky Mackay named 20-year-old Kieran Tierney as his captain for Scotland’s first match at Pittodrie since 2013.
There were also first starts for Ryan Jack, Ryan Christie and Callum McGregor with Jason Cummings making his debut from the bench.
Scotland started brightly and James Forrest saw an early shot blocked inside the box after eight minutes.
Matt Phillips started his fifth consecutive match and nearly marked it with a goal when he controlled a long ball from his own half. He brought it down in the box and under pressure from Virgil van Dijk, got his shot away but found the goalkeeper’s arms.
With neither team qualifying for the World Cup in Russia, it was a chance to experiment and Scotland had the best of the chances in the first half with Kieran Tierney going close with a rasping drive 10 minutes from the break.
At half-time Scotland could count themselves unlucky to be 1-0 down when the Scots saw an attack peter out and on the counter attack Netherlands charged forward. They outnumbered Scotland in the box in preparation for a cross ball from the right and Lyon’s Mephis Depay was on hand to knock it home.
Scotland started the second-half with vigour and John McGinn nearly had Pittodrie in raptures with a rasping drive from distance but saw it fly just wide of the target.
Celtic midfielder Callum McGregor was also close from distance after 67 minutes with Cillessen managing to palm the ball to safety.
Having grown up in Aberdeen and played for the club, Ryan Fraser’s dream came true when he came on after 71 minutes and nearly scored with his first few touches. Collecting the ball on the right, he drove inside and hit his shot narrowly wide of the target.
Jason Cummings was also brought onto the field of play and was close to scoring with his first touch but a lacklustre shot was easily saved.
The challenge match was a chance to see fresh faces pull on the Scotland shirt and despite the defeat, provided plenty of promise for the future.
Scotland: Gordon, Jack, Robertson, Tierney, Berra (Mulgrew, 45), McLean, Forrest (Fraser, 71), McGinn, Phillips, McGregor (Cummings, 86), Christie
Unused substitutes: Marshall, Archer, Shinnie, Paterson, Cooper, Hanlon
Netherlands: Cillessen, Fosu-Mensah (Veltman, 71), van Dijk, Rekik, Ake, Blind, Promes (Berghuis, 76), Strootman, Babel, Wijnaldum, Memphis
Unused substitutes: Zoet, Padt, van Ginkel, de Ligt, van de Beek, Propper, de Jong, Sneijder, Vihena
Vauxhall Man of the Match: John McGinn