Luxembourg 0-1 Scotland: Che Adams is on the scoresheet to beat 10-man minnows… while Steve Clarke’s side ensures they will enter the European Championship with confidence
Che Adams and Lyndon Dykes will likely be on the team sheet when Scotland gets underway at Euro 2020, and at least here was evidence that the strikers could also be on the same page.
In an effort by Steve Clarke to solve the scoring problems that threatened to undermine progress elsewhere on the pitch, he has recruited Englishman Adams and Australian Dykes since last summer.
However, before this trip to Luxembourg, they had only spent 80 minutes at a time.
Friday 11 June
Saturday June 12
Sunday 13 June
Scotland have made sure they will enter Euro 2020 with confidence after beating Luxembourg
Southampton striker Che Adams was on the scoresheet on Sunday to beat the minnows
Adams celebrates after scoring his second goal for Scotland after pledging his allegiance
LUXEMBOURG (4-4-1-1): Morris; Jans, Selimovic, Mahmutovic, Pinto; Rodrigues, Skenderovic (Da Mota 84min), Carlson, Sinani (O Thill 71); S Thill (Martins 84); Deville (Bohnert 64).
Booked: Rodrigues, O Thill.
Sent away: Selimovic.
SCOTLAND (5-3-2): marshall 7; O’Donnell 7 (Patterson 64, 6.5), Hanley 6.5, Gallagher 7 (McKenna 46, 6.5), Tierney 7.5, Robertson 7.5 (Fraser 64, 6.5); McGregor 7 (Gilmour 46, 6.5; Forrest 76), McTominay 7, McGinn 6.5; Adams 6.5, Dykes 6.5 (Nisbet 82).
Goalscorer: Adams 27.
The infancy of their alliance is therefore a concern as Scotland enter their first major tournament in 23 years.
So the sight of the pair coming together for the only goal of the game – as well as the attack that led to a Luxembourg dismissal – will reassure Clarke, even if the finish elsewhere is a source of discomfort.
“We obviously haven’t done enough pre- or finishing training,” he said with a smile, though he won’t laugh if such debauchery extends into next week’s Group D opening game against the Czech Republic.
‘It was nice to work with two strikers, I wanted to see them. But Lyndon is disappointed that he doesn’t have the match ball. We’ve had many opportunities.’
However, there was reason to believe that Dykes and Adams have accelerated an understanding that will be at the center of their adopted nation’s hopes this month.
Take the only goal of the game, at 27 minutes.
QPR’s Dykes dribbled across the penalty area, delaying his pass long enough for Adams to shell unnoticed into space, from which the Southampton forward shot his second goal in his fourth international.
Seven minutes later, a fine clutch between the front two led to Vahid Selimovic’s red card.
Adams messed up the defense with a reverse pass and Dykes, in on goal, was pulled to the ground by the centre-back. It was a mindless offense and ruined the game like a match.
But Luxembourg should have been further reduced in numbers when Olivier Thill landed his shoulder in Billy Gilmour’s muzzle in the second half.
Luxembourg was reduced to ten men before halftime after Vahid Selimovic was sent off
Liverpool defender Andrew Robertson crosses the ball during the international friendly
The Chelsea teen, who was up and running at halftime, enjoyed an excellent cameo when the rough challenge forced him with 15 minutes to go.
“The good news is he’s okay,” Clarke said. “We removed him as a precaution. He’s a tough boy. There’s no concussion as far as we know.’
Gilmour injected some energy and ingenuity into a performance that was well below the very impressive performance in Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with the Netherlands. Scotland had started that race like an express train. In contrast, they embarked on this final warm-up with all the urgency of a second-class stamp.
Perhaps it was the strength of Clarke’s starting squad that gave those players a measure of reassurance. The team certainly looked like a team that could start well against the Czechs at Hampden Park.
Goalkeeper David Marshall still sweats in place. To that end, a lax opening from those before him was probably what Marshall secretly craved, giving him the chance to shine.
Ryan Fraser makes an attack on goal but his effort was blocked in Sunday’s friendly
Substitute Billy Gilmour pulled out after concussion
At eight minutes he had his moment. A Luxembourg corner fell between the bodies and when the ball bounced off defender Grant Hanley’s knee towards goal, Marshall threw himself from the bottom corner to the goal.
But that proved Marshall’s only remarkable effort. For the rest he was a spectator. Not that it was a spectacle to enjoy. Selimovic’s red card ensured that.
The second half was more of a target practice for Scotland – and what do they need.
Sunday’s win bolsters Steve Clarke’s strong performance against the Netherlands in the midweek