European Qualifier
Scotland 2-3 Germany
Monday 7 September, kick-off 7.45pm
Hampden Park, Glasgow

Hummels OG 28' McArthur 43'; Müller 18', 35, Gündogan 54'

A proud and spirited display was not enough for Scotland as they fell to a 3-2 defeat to World Champions Germany at Hampden.

Thomas Muller proved to be the thorn in Scotland’s side once again as he contributed the opener before Matt Hummels’ O.G drew things level with 28 minutes gone. Muller’s second goal of the game put Germany back in front but James McArthur’s volley made it 2-2 before half-time. Ilkay Gundogan’s winner on 54 proved to be the final goal of the game, as Germany strengthened their grip on top position in Group D.

The manager made three changes to the team that suffered defeat in Georgia last week, handing places to Grant Hanley, James Forrest and James McArthur. Celtic’s Charlie Mulgrew moved to left-back with Steven Fletcher retaining his place up front.

Scotland showed their bite right from the off, pressing from the front and frustrating Germany’s direct style of play. Alan Hutton’s darting runs down the right hand channel showing early promise for the home side.

On 18 minutes Germany struck the first blow. Muller, who netted a double in the reverse fixture at Dortmund, was allowed space to run with the ball before unleashing a shot that spiraled off Russell Martin and past a despairing David Marshall. The goal was a harsh one to lose for Scotland, who had started brightly and looked to be imposing themselves on the World Champions.

Ten minutes later Scotland were deservedly back on level terms. Emre Can’s foul on Mulgrew just outside the box allowed Maloney to place the ball down and whip in a fantastic free-kick directly into the six-yard box. Manuel Neuer was able to palm the ball away but only as far as Mat Hummels who watched in horror as it spun off him and into his own net.

Almost as soon as Scotland had clawed their way back into the game, they’d fallen behind again. A clever pass out left found its way to Emre Can and the Liverpool man’s side-footed shot forced Marshall into a save. The ball then fell to the ever-alert Muller who volleyed at goal. Martin staged a diving clearance but the ball was already over the line. 2-1 to Germany.

Gotze was offered the chance to make it 3-1 on 42 minutes when he nipped onto a loose ball in the Scotland box. The Bayern Munich striker got a shot away but was denied by a terrific diving tackle from Martin.

With just minutes remaining of the first-half the game swung back in Scotland’s favour. An in-swinging corner from Maloney was cleared away by the German backline, but only as far as McArthur who caught the ball ever so sweetly to side-foot a volley past Neuer. It was a moment of brilliance from the Crystal Palace man and pulled Scotland right back into the game going into half-time.

Mario Gotze was denied by the offside flag shortly after the re-start as the Germans looked to hit back quickly and minutes later this topsy-turvy game threw another curveball in Scotland’s way.

Some excellent build-up play from Germany on 54 minutes saw them work their way into the Scotland box. Muller’s clever cutback found Ilkay Gundogan and the Borussia Dortmund midfielder was able to side-foot the ball in off the post to make it 3-2.

The goal only served to speed up an already frantic encounter. Marshall showed great reactions to deny Bastian Schweinsteiger’s long-range drive on the hour mark and Hutton could have drawn Scotland level a few minutes later but couldn’t quite get on the end of Fletcher’s neat one-two.

A loud and passionate Scotland support continued to get behind the team, but unfortunately Gordon's side just couldn't find that third goal.

Scotland: Marshall (GK); Hutton, R. Martin, Hanley, Mulgrew; Brown (capt) (C. Martin 81), Morrison; Forrest (Ritchie 81) McArthur, Maloney (Anya 60), S.Fletcher.

Subs not used: Gordon (GK), McGregor (GK), Griffiths, Whittaker, Naismith, Russell, D. Fletcher, Greer, Martin, Forsyth.