The 2018 FIFA World Cup semi-final, Belgium took advantage of a series of errors by Scotland with goals from Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and a double from Michy Batshuayi to beat the hosts 4-0 in a friendly at Hampden on Friday. The men of Roberto Martinez showed their class and do not resist their efforts to finish third in Russia to prepare for the first game of the League of Nations against Iceland on Tuesday. However, the visitors received a series of gifts from Scotland that fell to their fourth loss in five games since manager Alex McLeish was appointed for a second period as coach.
"We were very clinical in front of the goal," said Martinez. "The players were well focused in general and for us it was a good exercise for Tuesday."
The contrasting fortunes of the two nations were summed up by Belgium playing a smaller crowd than the one that celebrated its return from Russia in July to Hampden barely half full.
Martinez named a strong team with six of those who began the defeat of the World Cup semifinal against France in the starting lineup.
But it took a gift from John McGinn of Aston Villa to put visitors on the road when the midfielder was taken over on the edge of his own box and Mousa Dembele and Thorgan Hazard gave Lukaku his 41st international goal.
Eden Hazard crashed Belgium's second goal in the second half, but again McLeish could have been disappointed to see goalie Craig Gordon defeated in his near post.
A more accurate test of McLeish's ability to qualify Scotland for a first major tournament in more than 20 years will come when Albania is the visitor to Hampden on Monday in the League of Nations.
However, great improvements will be needed in the possession of the ball, since Valencia Batshuayi striker scored two goals in eight minutes before the hour of play after attacking with loose passes of Charlie Mulgrew and Ryan Jack.
"It was just a catalog of mistakes," said McLeish. "If someone is to blame, it's me who tells them they have to pass."
"They are hard lessons, great lessons especially for young people, but they should not be discouraged as they faced a superior team."
However, the former manager of the Rangers rejected suggestions that it was a risk to face such a difficult game and the consequences of a moral defeat just days before the start of the League of Nations campaign in Scotland.
"It seemed like the best opposition option for me, we have to put ourselves to the test."