Scotland continued their Euro 2020 preparations in a positive way as they almost pulled off an upset against the Netherlands only for Memphis Depay to rescue the Oranje in Portugal to salvage a draw.
Depleted due to to Covid-19 precautions, Scotland had seven players missing. Steve Clarke’s side, however, defied any early concerns when Jack Hendry scored early on to put the Scots in control.
Memphis Depay equalised just 7 minutes later in the 17th minute with a composed first-time shot.
Substitute Kevin Nisbet scored with his first touch to restore Scotland’s lead in the 63rd minute and just when Scotland would have thought they had this game in the bag, Memphis came to the rescue of the Dutch once again with a wonderful freekick in the 89th minute to rescue the draw for the Oranje.
Clarke’s side had looked set for a confidence-boosting victory in the absence of John Fleck, who returned a positive Covid test, and David Marshall, Stephen O’Donnell, Nathan Patterson, Grant Hanley, John McGinn and Che Adams, who were left at the training camp in Spain as a precaution.
But instead, they move on to Sunday’s friendly with Luxembourg after a 2-2 draw in the Algarve.
Scotland are in the same group as neighbours England for Euro 2020 and will also face a stiff task against 2018 FIFA World Cup runners-up Croatia.
Scotland had chances to extend their lead just after the opener, as Lyndon Dykes and Kieran Tierney – a constant threat despite playing as the left centre-back in a three-man defence – both went close.
Scotland head coach Steve Clarke said: “We’d have liked to have won the game. We feel like the referee took it away from us with a soft free-kick. We can overlook that. The performance was good.
“Good performances from all the players tonight gives me more problems or decisions as the head coach. That’s what we want. I want to have difficult decisions. I want to have sleepless nights.”