Scotland 'looked a good team' but Steve Clarke brands Netherlands' late equaliser 'embarrassing'

Steve Clarke branded the decision to award a late free-kick to the Netherlands, which allowed Memphis Depay to snatch a victory away from Scotland, as ‘embarrassing’.

Memphis Depay of Netherlands celebrates scoring during the international friendly between Netherlands and Scotland at Estadio Algarve. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

The Dutch talisman swept in a stunning set-piece with three minutes to play to level the scores after Scotland had impressed throughout the Euro 2020 warm-up match.

However even the contested call against Jack Hendry was not enough to detract from the show which will cautiously increase optimism ahead of another friendly against Luxembourg on Sunday.

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Scotland's defender Jack Hendry kicks the ball and scores during the international friendly match between Netherlands and Scotland. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images)

“The decision to award the free-kick at the end was embarrassing, but the performance was more important than refereeing decisions,” Clarke fumed.

“It would have been nice to win but this was all about the performance and that’s what we spoke about in training this week - putting on a good performance and if we did that a good result would follow.

“A draw against the Dutch is a good result. It could have been better, but the referee decided that wouldn’t be the case.”

Clarke was not happy with the decision of Portuguese official Vitor Ferreira to penalise Jack Hendry for a late coming together with Depay – but there was no arguing the Lyon striker’s dead ball finish.

Hendry had already opened the scoring for Scotland in an impressive performance which also included a first international goal with Hibs striker Kevin Nisbet’s first touch. It appeared to be enough for a morale-boosting win for Scotland before the late controversy but Clarke was still pleased with his team’s performance.

The manager, hamstrung by six players unavailable for selection as a precautionary measure following John Fleck’s positive test, handed debuts to David Turnbull, who featured from the start, and later Chelsea's Champions League winner Billy Gilmour, who replaced the Celtic midfielder with ten minutes to go.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Clarke added: “It was a big feather in David’s cap against a tough opponent but all the lads can be pleased.

“We played well, the way we wanted to, aggressive at times and got the press right sometimes – not all of the time, and when we did that, we looked like a good team.”

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