Scotland Netherlands reaction: Defensive frailty, reality check or false dawn, milestone cap for Scotland icon

Scotland Women suffered their biggest defeat in two years as they fell to a 4-0 Nations League defeat against the Netherlands. Graham Falk looks the biggest talking points from the heavy loss in Nijmegen.
Scotland's Lisa Evans won her 100th cap last night in the 4-0 defeat to Netherlands. Cr. Getty ImagesScotland's Lisa Evans won her 100th cap last night in the 4-0 defeat to Netherlands. Cr. Getty Images
Scotland's Lisa Evans won her 100th cap last night in the 4-0 defeat to Netherlands. Cr. Getty Images

Injuries pile up for Scotland but defeat down to defensive lapses

Any team would struggle when they lose the likes of Caroline Weir, Erin Cuthbert and Sam Kerr but the biggest worry for Scotland last night will be how frail they looked at the back.

Creativity was always going to be hard to come by with the trio that was missing but, ultimately, the heavy defeat came down to slack defending with the second and third goal in particular easily avoidable.

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Martinez Losa has injected some belief in Scotland Women fans recently but if it wasn't for goalkeeper Lee Gibson, last night could have been even worse and that is not the standard fans - or the players - have come to expect.

Teenage kicks? Martinez Losa half time substitutions surprise

Rangers midfielder star Kirsty Maclean was handed her first start in the absence of Caroline Weir and Sam Kerr and did little wrong in a game that was more about learning than a one she was expected to dictate.

So why the 18-year-old was perhaps removed at half time by Pedro Martinez Losa was anyone's guess. Perhaps it was tactical, but it felt unfair.

BBC pundits Jen Beattie and Leanne Crichton admitted their surprise at the decision and said they'd like to see the Spanish coach trust in the youth for the return game on Tuesday - and we have to agree.

A 90 minute run out against the likes of Danielle van de Donk and Jackie Groenen would have helped her immensely in the long run and hauling her off didn't feel like the right decision.

No win in three - Nations League reality check can not be turned into a false dawn

One of the Spanish coaches key missions was to ensure his side could compete with some of the world's highest ranked nations and recently, that is exactly what they have done.

They were a crossbar away from drawing with England and defeated Australia and Austria in the last year. However, the last two performances against Belgium and Netherlands have been below the standard they have set.

Scotland's ability to cope with nations ranked higher than them has now set a precedent. Martinez Losa wanted his side to compete with them and they've done that - consistently - which is why last night felt like such a let down, despite the obvious quality the Dutch possessed.

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In Tuesday's return clash between the team, Scotland must put in a good performance to ensure the promise they've shown in 2023 is no flash in the pan.

100 up for Lisa Evans

There were minimal positives to take from the thrashing in Nijmegen but one of source of cheer was Scotland icon Lisa Evans becoming the latest player to hit a century of caps.

A born winner, Evans is one of Scotland's most celebrated women's footballers having won the Bundesliga, Women's Super League and Scottish Women's Premier League and to see her reach 100 caps for Scotland is certain to be a proud moment for the whole Evans family. Well done Lisa!



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