Holland’s Memphis Depay denies Scotland at the death

Clarke’s side pegged back late in Portugal; France make light work of 10-man Wales

Memphis Depay celebrates scoring the Netherlands’ equaliser against Scotland. Photograph: Miguel Morenatti/AP

Memphis Depay celebrates scoring the Netherlands’ equaliser against Scotland. Photograph: Miguel Morenatti/AP

 

Holland 2 Scotland 2

A weakened Scotland side showed their mettle with an encouraging 2-2 draw against Holland in Portugal.

Boss Steve Clarke have opted to leave six players — David Marshall, Stephen O’Donnell, Nathan Patterson, Grant Hanley, John McGinn and Che Adams — behind in Spain, where they had been in a training camp, following John Fleck’s positive Covid-19 test.

It was an “ultra cautious” move by the Scotland camp for a Euro 2020 preparation fixture against Frank De Boer’s side but they were far from reticent when defender Jack Hendry drove in his first international goal after 11 minutes of a match played behind closed doors in the Estadio Algarve.

Memphis Depay levelled five minutes later with a drive from inside the box but substitute Kevin Nisbet opened his Scotland account soon after coming on in the second half with a confident close-range finish, only for Depay to equalise again with a minute remaining with a wonderful free-kick.

It was a good workout for the Scots with any result against Holland a positive especially given the circumstances.

Having to reshuffle his pack, Clarke was still left with a more than decent side.

He gave Celtic midfielder David Turnbull his debut, veteran keeper Craig Gordon was between the sticks and he brought in Leeds centre-back Liam Cooper.

James Forrest started at right wing-back and Lyndon Dykes led the line in Adams’ absence.

Yet it was the Scots’ defenders who caused the early problems for the Dutch.

In the 10th minute left centre-back Kieran Tierney moved up the park with purpose and drove just inches wide from distance.

That was just a precursor to the Scots’ opener. Hendry stepped up as Scotland pressed to prevent Holland playing out from a goal-kick and after gaining possession he drilled in a shot from 25 yards with the assurance of a striker.

Clarke’s side were boosted and a minute later Dykes drove a shot straight at Dutch keeper Tim Krul.

Just when it looked like the Scots had the upper hand they dropped their guard and conceded when Holland skipper Georginio Wijnaldum headed back to an unmarked Depay, who steered a terrific shot from 16 yards past the diving Gordon.

Just after the hour-mark, Declan Gallagher, Ryan Fraser and Nisbet replaced Cooper, Forrest and Dykes.

Moments later, skipper Andy Robertson’s delicious cross from the left was dispatched by Nisbet, with the Hibernian striker making light work of the finish.

Turnbull then came close with a drive from the edge of the box before both sides made more changes, Tierney and Robertson making way for Greg Taylor and Scott McKenna.

The Scots worked hard to keep the Dutch out, with some nervy moments not least when Gordon made a great save from Patrick Van Aanholt’s deflected shot.

Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour came on for Turnbull to make his debut with nine minutes remaining but late on Depay’s brilliant finish from the edge of the box made it honours even.

Kylian Mbappe celebrates with Antoine Griezmann after the Barcelona forward scores France’s second against Wales. Photograph: Franck Fife/Getty/AFP
Kylian Mbappe celebrates with Antoine Griezmann after the Barcelona forward scores France’s second against Wales. Photograph: Franck Fife/Getty/AFP

France 3 Wales 0

Wales fell to a 3-0 Euro 2020 warm-up defeat to France after Neco Williams’ controversial red card left them playing with 10 men for more than an hour.

Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele made France’s numerical advantage count as Wales went into damage limitation mode on a night in Nice which proved anything but pleasant for the Dragons.

Williams was banished on 26 minutes after blocking Karim Benzema’s close-range shot with his arms outstretched, following a VAR check by Portuguese referee Luis Godinho.

It seemed a harsh decision, but Williams now looks set to miss Wales’ final pre-Euro 2020 friendly against Albania in Cardiff on Saturday through suspension.

Benzema saw his resulting spot-kick saved by Danny Ward, but the outcome was inevitable from that point as the world champions revelled in the extra space created by Williams’ departure.

Wales interim boss Robert Page had promised to manage his players’ minutes against France and Albania amid several fitness concerns just 10 days before their tournament opener against Switzerland in Baku.

Aaron Ramsey, Ben Davies and Joe Allen all had injury issues in the final months of the season with the trio having little or no game time.

Only Allen of the three started at the Allianz Riviera, the Stoke midfielder’s first game since pulling up in a World Cup qualifying defeat to Belgium in March.

Ramsey and Davies were on the bench while Ethan Ampadu and Tom Lockyer, a late addition to the Euro 2020 party on Monday when James Lawrence dropped out, did not make the matchday squad after injury.

Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris captained France for the 100th time in the city of his birth as Real Madrid striker Benzema ended an international absence of nearly six years by joining Griezmann and Mbappe in attack.

Griezmann and Olivier Giroud had scored when the two nations last met, France winning a Paris friendly 2-0 in November 2017.

Les Bleus might have been looking for a good omen with that victory coming eight months before their World Cup celebrations in Russia, and Didier Deschamps’ side started on the front foot.

Williams was assigned to do a man-marking job on Paul Pogba, but the Manchester United man found space in the fourth minute to deliver a cross which Benzema headed powerfully but Ward pushed to safety.

Wales responded instantly and Daniel James broke into space to test Lloris with a low shot, with Presnel Kimpembe preventing Allen from bundling home the rebound.

The visitors were matching France in what was an open high-tempo contest, but that was to change when Ward reacted brilliantly to save Pogba’s close-range header.

Benzema’s follow-up was heading goalwards until Williams got in the way and Wales paid the penalty in more than one way as the Liverpool youngster was dismissed.

France made their extra man count after 34 minutes when Adrien Rabiot’s shot from the edge of the area took a wicked deflection.

Ward stuck out a foot but the ball looped into the air and Mbappe was on hand to finish with a classy volley.

France doubled their lead two minutes into the second half.

Mbappe cleverly flicked the ball into Griezmann’s path and the Barcelona forward beat Ward with an unerring effort from the edge of the box.

Ramsey was introduced among a raft of second-half substitutions and the Juventus playmaker produced a delicious pass to set up James for an effort which Lloris saved with a strong right hand.

David Brooks also saw his free-kick blocked, but France sealed victory 11 minutes from time when Benzema’s shot cannoned off a post and substitute Dembele swept home the rebound.

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