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Netherlands crush Scotland in Euro warm-up

<a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/teams/netherlands-women/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Netherlands;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Netherlands</a> midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum (2R) scores in the friendly win against Scotland (Koen van Weel)
Netherlands midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum (2R) scores in the friendly win against Scotland (Koen van Weel)

Netherlands scored three times in the closing stages to inflict a crushing 4-0 defeat on Scotland in Friday's friendly.

In a match-up of two sides preparing for the start of Euro 2024 in June, it was encouraging outing for the Dutch and troubling one for the visitors.

Ronald Koeman's team took the lead when Tijjani Reijnders fired home from long-range just before half-time in Amsterdam's Johan Cruyff Arena.

Scotland's Lawrence Shankland hit the bar in the second half and the visitors paid the price for that miss in a late collapse.

Georginio Wijnaldum headed the second goal for the Netherlands before substitutes Wout Weghorst and Donyell Malen netted the final minutes.

Worryingly for Scotland boss Steve Clarke, his men have conceded 18 goals in their last six winless matches, losing four of those fixtures.

They have also conceded more than twice in six consecutive games for the first time since 1961.

Clarke's side, who face hosts Germany in the opening game of Euro 2024, will aim to get back on track against Northern Ireland in another friendly at Hampden Park on Tuesday.

"It's a strange one. Obviously sore, losing 4-0 you can't really dress it up, it was painful," Clarke said.

"For 70 minutes it was really good then we concede a poor second goal. The biggest difference between the sides was clinical finishing.

"It is one to go away and digest but not get too emotional. There are plenty of positives."

In contrast, Netherlands have won four consecutive games for the first time since 2013.

"During the first hour Scotland were the better team. It was a little bit unbelievable that they didn't score because they had so many chances," Koeman said.

"We need to play better football. We had many mistakes and we have to do better in Germany."

Koeman included top names Liverpool duo Virgil Van Dijk and Cody Gakpo, as well as Atletico Madrid forward Memphis Depay in his line-up.

Despite that star power, the Scots started well and Hearts striker Shankland headed over with an early opportunity.

Billy Gilmour teed up Ryan Christie, but Netherlands keeper Flekken tipped the ball on to the bar.

But in the 40th minute, AC Milan midfielder Reijnders took a pass from Gakpo and curled a fine finish past Angus Gunn for his first international goal.

Gunn had to make a great save from Depay's shot on the turn in the second half, while John McGinn's shot was parried by Flekken.

Christie headed a McGinn cross narrowly wide and Gunn saved from Gakpo's 20-yard drive at the other end.

When Shankland found himself through with just Flekken to beat, his shot clipped the bar to Clarke's frustration on the touchline.

Netherlands doubled their lead in the 72nd minute when Gakpo's cross was headed in by Wijnaldum from close-range.

Former Manchester United striker Weghorst nodded in from a corner with six minutes left and Malen sprinted clear to compound Scotland's misery with a cool finish two minutes later.

smg/pb