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21st Mar 2019

Scotland suffer humiliating defeat to Kazakhstan in first Euro 2020 qualifier

Scotland suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Kazakhstan on Thursday afternoon, conceding three goals to the side ranked 177th in the world

Reuben Pinder

Not the ideal start to their qualification campaign

Scotland’s qualifying campaign for Euro 2020 got off to the worst possible start on Thursday afternoon, as Alex McLeish’s side suffered a 3-0 loss at the hands of Kazakhstan. The result came as a surprise to pretty much everyone except maybe Scotland fans, who have grown accustomed to this sort of disappointment in recent years.

Scotland are missing some key players, but nonetheless, losing by a three goal margin to Kazakhstan, who are ranked 117th in the world, 77 places below the Scots, is cause for huge concern.

The first goal came after just five minutes, when Yuri Pertsukh took advantage of some sloppy marking to latch onto a long ball, take it down with a deft touch, and lash it into the top corner.

Kazakhstan then doubled their lead before ten minutes had passed, as Yan Vorogovsky got on the end of a defence splitting pass, poking the ball past Scott Bain.

The home side then put the cherry on the icing on the cake with a powerful, well directed header back across Bain’s goal from a looping cross, completing Scotland’s humiliation.

This is a far from ideal start for Scotland, who still have to play Belgium and Russia in their qualifying group. It’s early days, but they have left themselves a mountain to climb if they are to have any chance of qualifying for the European Championships for the first time since 1996.