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Four things we learnt as Scotland threw away a two-goal lead against Finland



The Scottish played brilliantly before ultimately allowing Finland back into the game. There was not too much to write home about in the first half, but Scotland were certainly the better of the two sides.

The second half saw the Scots maintain the pressure they had put on Finland in the first period, and that pressure eventually told when Andrew Robertson fired in a low cross, which Finnish centre-back Arttu Hoskonen, put into his own net.

Not long after, Lawrence Shankland nodded in to make it 2-0. After Steve Clarke had made a lot of changes, the Finns found their way back into the game.

Benjamin Kallman scored a brilliant header to get his side back into the game. Just 10 minutes later, a clumsy punch by Craig Gordon resulted in a penalty, which was coolly dispatched by Oliver Antman.

  • The first 65 minutes of this game are what Scotland must strive for

In the Scots’ last few games, it has been clear that they have struggled to reach the levels that got them into the European Championship.

For the first 65 minutes of this game, Scotland completely controlled things and looked reminiscent of the side that beat Spain.

Clarke’s men dictated the pace of the match and allowed their midfield to overrun Finland’s.

That phase of football should be considered the blueprint for their UEFA European Championship campaign.

Finland are not a million miles off of the sort of level that Hungary and Switzerland operate at, so there is no reason why the Tartan Army cannot take this game plan across into those two group games.

There should not be too much panic in Scotland, as when Finland were mounting their comeback Clarke had made a whole host of changes to the side that had played so well beforehand.

If they can maintain the levels that they showed for the first hour, they will be a tough test for anybody in the upcoming competition.

  • Billy Gilmour could be vital for the tournament

Billy Gilmour’s international career is patchy, to say the least.

The Brighton midfielder seems to struggle to put a run of games together for his country. Whether that be through fitness issues or form.

Tonight, the diminutive playmaker was sensational.

In the period in which Scotland dominated, the former Chelsea man was instrumental.

His constant recycling of possession allowed Scotland to maintain pressure and pin the Finns down.

The 22-year-old boasted a 92% pass completion rate in a game that was hotly contested.

He linked very well with the players around him and seemed right at home in the heart of the midfield. Whether Clarke feels as though Gilmour has shown enough to start at Euro 2024, however, is yet to be seen.

But should his side need a player to help them maintain control of a game, they have the perfect option in Gilmour.

  • Craig Gordon coming on was a great moment

In December 2022 former Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon was involved in a collision with compatriot Steven Fletcher, in which he suffered a double leg break.

Many feared that at his age, that would be it for Gordon and his career would be done at the age of 39.

Well, back in January of this year, he returned to the Hearts first team, becoming the oldest man to ever play for them.

Tonight, he did exactly the same thing for his national side as he became the oldest man to ever play for Scotland – taking the record off of Rangers great, David Weir.

It was a nice touch from Clarke to bring Gordon on for his first appearance for the Tartan Army in 19 months.

Admittedly, Gordon looked shaky when he came on and eventually gave away the penalty that allowed the Finns to equalise, but that does not matter too much, as this may very well be his last appearance for his country.

He should be remembered as one of the best goalkeepers to ever wear the Scottish jersey.

  • Andrew Robertson will be Scotland’s main creative outlet

The Liverpool full-back put in another excellent performance tonight as he took the record for the most appearances as captain for Scotland, a testament to his skill and availability.

There were points in the game where the Scots looked as though they may be running out of ideas but, every time that happened, the ball always seemed to find its way to Andrew Robertson.

He created the most chances in the game tonight and even fired the ball into the box to force the own goal by Arttu Hoskonen which gave Scotland the lead.

It is apparent that the captain is going to have to play a massive role if his country are going to be successful this summer and he can do that in a myriad of ways.

But the main way that he will contribute is going forward, which was seen by the way he had the Finnish defenders panicking at points at Hampden Park.

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