Denmark 2-0 Scotland: Steve Clarke’s side outclassed in World Cup qualifying

Scotland were outclassed by Denmark in World Cup qualifying, with the Danes winning 2-0 at Hampden Park.

Scotland will be looking to bounce back when they take on the Faroe Islands in their next qualifying match. Read more in detail here: when is next world cup.

Joakim Maehle finishes smartly to put Denmark 2-0 up after just 15 minutesAfter just 15 minutes, Joakim Maehle scores a great goal to put Denmark 2-0 up.

Scotland’s World Cup ambitions were handed a major setback in Copenhagen, when they were overwhelmed by a lively Denmark, falling seven points behind the group leaders.

Daniel Wass leapt over Kieran Tierney to head in an early goal, and Scotland’s calmness washed away as they conceded a second goal 93 seconds later to go down 2-0 after just 15 minutes.

As Steve Clarke’s side collapsed, Joakim Maehle performed a flick before racing off Billy Gilmour to collect Mikkel Damsgaard’s pass and finish between Craig Gordon’s knees.

Thankfully, the much better Danes did not add to their lead, but the outcome left Scotland with a near-impossible job of catching up, with first place ensuring a berth in Qatar next winter and second place ensuring a place in the play-offs.

Scotland has fallen two points behind Israel and Austria in the battle for second place, with the two teams playing on Saturday in Haifa.

At the same time, Clarke’s team is playing Moldova at Hampden, before of a crucial trip to Austria on Tuesday.

Despite having just 16 outfield players available owing to injuries and Covid-19 call-ups, Clarke was still able to select a solid XI, with skipper Andy Robertson filling in for Nathan Patterson and Stephen O’Donnell at right wing-back.

Scotland, on the other hand, was dominated from the start, and although Denmark was outstanding, individual mistakes by the visitors gave them an unfair advantage.

Tierney was left flailing as Pierre Emile-Hjobjerg received Pierre Emile-cross Hjobjerg’s and placed the ball into the bottom corner, but Scotland failed to heed the warnings.

Scotland then folded when cool heads were required. Andreas Skov Olsen drove down the right flank before playing a one-two with Yousuf Poulsen on the box’s edge.

Scotland had eight players back, but two of them ran to Maehle, who offloaded the ball and was not followed by Gilmour, who scored beautifully after collecting the return pass.

It was a shambolic first 15 minutes, and despite a better second half, a comeback never seemed possible, but a sharper Scotland could have given their hosts an unpleasant last 10 minutes if Kasper Schmeichel had not made a world-class stop from Ryan Fraser.

Kasper Hjulmand’s side showed why they are one of Europe’s best teams, overcoming hardship to reach the Euro 2020 semi-finals this summer despite Christian Eriksen’s heart collapse.

They’ve dominated Group F thus far, scoring 16 goals while allowing none, and they could have scored even more at Parken Stadium.

Soon after scoring, Maehle blasted over, Gordon denied Poulsen at a set-piece, and the Scotland goalkeeper had to stop Thomas Delaney’s rasping drive after he was allowed time to position himself on the outside of the box.

Joakim Maehle was named man of the match.

Joakim Maehle of Denmark chases the ball against ScotlandFull-back for Atalanta At the Euros, Maehle excelled and caused havoc on the left side.

What did we discover?

It is impossible to use square pegs in circular holes. Clarke chose to put Robertson on his unfamiliar side because he lacked a reliable right-back, and it backfired. Under pressure from a powerful Denmark squad, the defense was all over the place, and moving the Liverpool player back to the left after the half helped.

The larger issue, though, is that Scotland is often too passive when not in possession of the ball. In the Euros, the Czech Republic and Croatia were allowed much too much time and space on the ball, and the same thing happened in Copenhagen.

There’s also the question of whether the 3-5-2 system brings out the best in Scotland’s technical midfielders or Tierney and Robertson, the team’s most decorated players. Goals continue to be an issue, and even the once-reliable defense is giving up goals on a regular basis.

Six points from the next two games seem to be a must for Scotland to have any hope of qualifying for the play-offs.


Stats to match

  • None of the 17 matches between Denmark and Scotland have ended in a draw, with Denmark winning seven of them.
  • Scotland has lost three of their past four competitive games (D1), more than in their previous 14 combined (W7 D5 L2).
  • Since a 1-0 loss to Montenegro in October 2016, Denmark has gone undefeated in their past 21 Euro and World Cup qualifiers (W14 D7).
  • Wass scored the game’s first goal, and Maehle doubled Denmark’s advantage after only 93 seconds.
  • In his nine caps, Mikkel Damsgaard has been involved in nine goals, scoring four and assisting five.

What comes next?

Scotland plays Moldova at home on Saturday (19:45 BST), then travels to Austria for a vital match on Tuesday (19:45 BST). Denmark is on its way to the Faroe Islands before returning to Israel.



5-4-1 formation



Skov Olsen23Hjbjerg8Delaney14Damsgaard 11Skov Olsen23Hjbjerg8Delaney14Damsgaard


  • 1Schmeichel
  • At 85’minutes, 18Wass was substituted by Stryger Larsen.
  • 2Andersen
  • 4Kjaer
  • 6Christensen
  • 5Maehle
  • At 85’minutes, Skov Olsen was substituted by Daramy.
  • 23Højbjerg
  • At 85’minutes, 8Delaney was substituted for Nrgaard.
  • At 90+4’minutes, Damsgaard was substituted by Lindstrom.
  • At 68’minutes, 20Poulsen was substituted for Wind.


  • 3Nelsson
  • 7Christiansen
  • Larsen, Bruun
  • 10Ingvartsen
  • 12Lindstrom
  • 13Kristensen
  • 15Nørgaard
  • 16Lössl
  • 17Stryger Larsen is a character in the film Stryger Larsen.
  • 19Wind
  • 21Daramy
  • 22Rönnow


3-5-2 formation





  • 1Gordon
  • 5Hanley
  • 16Cooper
  • At 45’minutes, 14McKenna was substituted forDykes.
  • 3Robertson
  • 4Gilmour was a 90+1 minute sub for Ferguson.
  • Turnbullat was replaced by 23McLean for 85 minutes.
  • 8McGregor
  • 6Tierney
  • 20Fraser
  • 10Adams 71’minutesSubstituted forChristieat


  • 9Dykes
  • 11Christie
  • 12Kelly
  • 13Hendry
  • 15Gallagher
  • 17Ferguson
  • 18Turnbull
  • 21Clark

Live Text

  1. Denmark 2, Scotland 0 is the final score.

  2. Denmark 2, Scotland 0 at the conclusion of the second half.

  3. Denmark, substitution. Mikkel Damsgaard is replaced by Jesper Lindstrom.

  4. Denmark’s Simon Kjaer earns a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Grant Hanley was called for a foul (Scotland).

  6. Scotland’s corner. Joachim Andersen made the concession.

  7. Scotland, you’ve made a substitution. Billy Gilmour is replaced by Lewis Ferguson.

  8. Simon Kjaer’s handball (Denmark).

  9. The attempt was unsuccessful. The right-footed attempt from outside the box by Joachim Andersen (Denmark) is too high.

  10. The attempt has been saved. A header from the center of the box by Pierre-Emile Hjbjerg (Denmark) is saved in the goal. Jonas Wind assisted.

  11. In the defensive half, Jonas Wind (Denmark) earns a free kick.

  12. Grant Hanley was called for a foul (Scotland).

  13. Scotland, you’ve made a substitution. Kenny McLean is replaced by David Turnbull.

  14. Denmark, substitution. Thomas Delaney is replaced by Christian Nrgaard.

  15. Denmark, substitution. Andreas Skov Olsen is replaced by Mohammed Daramy.

  16. Denmark, substitution. Daniel Wass is replaced by Jens Stryger Larsen.

  17. The attempt was unsuccessful. Scotland’s Kenny McLean’s left-footed effort from the middle of the box goes wide to the left. Andrew Robertson assisted with a cross from a corner.

  18. Scotland’s corner. Andreas Christensen made the concession.

  19. Scotland’s corner. Kasper Schmeichel conceded.

  20. The attempt has been saved. The left footed effort from the middle of the box by Ryan Fraser (Scotland) is saved in the lower left corner. Lyndon Dykes was a big help.

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