Denmark 2-0 Scotland: Steve Clarke’s men suffer setback in World Cup qualifying

Denmark 2-0 Scotland: Steve Clarke’s men suffer setback in World Cup qualifier after Daniel Wass and Joakim Maehle were just a minute apart to maintain a perfect start for hosts

  • Scotland was outclassed by Denmark in Copenhagen on Wednesday evening
  • Daniel Wass and Joakim Maehle scored for the hosts in two minutes in the first half
  • Steve Clarke’s squad dropped six points behind the group leaders after the defeat


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Scotland arrived here with just 16 outfield players, and at times it felt like they could have done with all those players on the field to fend off the brilliant Danes.

Steve Clarke’s side were overwhelmed for two minutes into the first half, netting two goals and three points for the hosts, the first since their defeat in the Euro 2020 semi-final against England in Copenhagen.

This match always seemed Scotland’s toughest on paper when the draw took place. And so it happened on grass.

Steve Clarke's World Cup hopes were hit after his team was outclassed in Denmark

Steve Clarke’s World Cup hopes were hit after his team was outclassed in Denmark

Daniel Wass and Joakim Maehle scored a quickfire double to keep a perfect start for the hosts

Daniel Wass and Joakim Maehle scored a quickfire double to keep a perfect start for the hosts

Daniel Wass and Joakim Maehle scored a quickfire double to keep a perfect start for the hosts

MATCHING FACTS

Denmark (3-4-3): Flattery 6; Christensen 7, Kjaer 6.5, Anderson 6.5; Wass 7, Delaney 6.5, Hojbjerg 7, Maehle 7.5; Olsen 7.5, Poulsen 6.5 (Wind 68, 6), Damsgaard 8

Scorers: Wass 14, Maehle 15

Bookings: no

Manager: Kasper Hjulmand 7

Scotland (3-5-2): Gordon 5; Hanley 5.5, Cooper 6, McKenna 6 (Dykes 46. 5); Robertson 6, Gilmour 7, McLean 6, McGregor 6, Tierney 5; Fraser 5.5, Adams 5 (Christie 72, 5)

Bookings: no

Manager: Steve Clarke 6

Reference: O Hategan (Rom) 7

MOM: Damsgaard

Former Denmark star Brian Laudrup, here in the press, had warned that the Scots would not only be up against 11 players, but also the “emotional power” of an entire country. He wasn’t wrong.

It was horrifying to be in the middle of the Danish crowd before kick-off as they delivered a homecoming for heroes.

You can drink Carlsberg in the stands here, and they sure are a thirsty bunch. But they are more drunk with a newfound love for their national team.

On June 12, Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest in this stadium during the opening match of the European Championship in Denmark. But out of the horror of that afternoon emerged unity and an uplifting journey to the final four.

Parks is not normally sold out for qualifiers. The only free seats this time were in Scotland’s dugout, where injuries and Covid-19 had exhausted their numbers.

Not that it mattered. You could have had excellent Kenny Dalglish and Graeme Souness and it still would have been no match for the Danes in a blistering opening that won the match.

Their first goal came in the 14th minute. Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney looked like, well, an Arsenal defender as he lost both the ball flight and his man at the far post, letting Daniel Wass go home with ease.

It was two within 60 seconds. Wing-back Joakim Maehle and forward Mikkel Damsgaard were some of the breakout stars this summer. They too have started the fall in quite sensational form.

Daniel Wass jumped over Kieran Tierney to head in the opening goal in the 14th minute

Daniel Wass jumped over Kieran Tierney to head in the opening goal in the 14th minute

Daniel Wass jumped over Kieran Tierney to head in the opening goal in the 14th minute

Joakim Maehle slipped the ball through Craig Gordon's legs to double their advantage

Joakim Maehle slipped the ball through Craig Gordon's legs to double their advantage

Joakim Maehle slipped the ball through Craig Gordon’s legs to double their advantage

Maehle ran with his heels to Damsgaard and continued his run to the penalty area. Damsgaard, a little wizard in the form of Eriksen, produced a hollowed-out return to leave Scotland’s defense spellbound and Maehle poked through Craig Gordon’s legs for a very nice goal.

Scotland’s plan had been to calm the crowd. hmm.

“We couldn’t do that,” skipper Andy Robertson said. “We knew they would try to make a quick start. It was a tough battle after that.’

Denmark boss Kasper Hjulmand said: ‘We found the stadium exactly as we left it in the summer. It lifted the players.’

Billy Gilmour was positive for Clarke. The boss has said the midfielder will benefit from playing for a team like Norwich this season, which has less possession and is not blessed with stars. Perhaps by that he meant that it would prepare him for a life with Scotland.

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