Netherlands 4-0 Scotland: Clinical hosts go top of Nations League group to leave Scots bottom27 October 2023
Classy Netherlands eased to the top of Nations League Group A1 with a commanding win that leaves an injury-weakened Scotland rooted to the bottom.
Danielle van de Donk's front-post finish after only 12 minutes and Esmee Brugts' low strike had the Dutch comfortably ahead by half-time.
Lineth Beerensteyn broke clear to lob in the third shortly after the break and added her own second with a back post header to secure an 11th successive home win for the clinical hosts.
Pedro Martinez Losa's side, shorn of key midfielders through injury, had arrived in Nijmegen looking to build on the late equaliser that secured a first Nations League point at home to Belgium last month.
But the Scots were forced immediately on to the back foot by hosts oozing power and athleticism.
And, when Kerstin Casparij bust into the penalty box from midfield, her low cross took a nick off a Scottish leg and Van de Donk was first to react and prod past goalkeeper Lee Gibson at the front post.
Rather than force Scotland into their shell, the visitors burst out of it to become a reinvigorated attacking force.
Winger Claire Emslie was just unable to capitalise on a fumble by Daphne van Domselaar and the goalkeeper touched a superb Kirsty Hanson strike over the crossbar.
However, when Sophie Howard could only divert a Jill Roord shot into the path of Brugts, the Barcelona forward was clinical from 12 yards.
Unlike the opener, the second goal knocked the wind out the Scottish sails and Gibson had to make a fingertip save from a thunderous Sherida Spitse strike.
Any hopes of a second-half comeback were doused almost immediately after the restart when Beerensteyn took advantage of a lack of cohesion at the heart of the Scottish defence as she pounced on a long ball to chip over the advancing Gibson.
A Howard header was deflected just wide as the Scots briefly threatened a reply, but Beerensteyn showed greater precision with her finish shortly after to emphasise the gulf between the sides before Gibson prevented the Juventus forward a hat-trick.
Player of the match - Lineth Beerensteyn (Netherlands)There were plenty of candidates in the Dutch side, but Lineth Beerensteyn's two goals clinched it for the forward
Scots miss key absences and made to think again - analysis
Having run England close before drawing with Belgium, Scotland on paper would have been hoping to give hosts ranked seventh in the world a similarly tough night.
However, they were without four key midfielders - Real Madrid's Caroline Weir being injured last time out against Belgium, Bayern Munich's Sam Kerr also dropping out and with Chelsea's Erin Cuthbert and Manchester United's Emma Watson still missing.
Bristol City's Amy Rodgers was handed her third cap and Rangers 18-year-old Kirsty Maclean her fourth, but the latter only lasted 45 minutes before being replaced as the key absences proved too much for the visitors.
The Dutch went into the game unbeaten in 16 home games since losing to United States in November 2020 and head coach Andries Jonker could afford to start star striker Vivianne Miedema on the bench with the Arsenal striker only having returned from long-term injury at the weekend.
His one change to the side that defeated England last time out proved to be astute.
Kerstin Casparij replaced Arsenal's Victoria Pelova and it was the versatile Manchester City midfielder who burst of pace into the box to set up the opening goal after only 12 minutes.
Almost exactly a year ago, the Dutch needed a late winner to beat the visiting Scots, but by the final whistle this time they had shown why they are 16 places higher in the world rankings.
Martinez Losa has only four days to find a way to bridge the gap before the Netherlands visit Hampden in the return fixture on Tuesday.
What they said
Scotland head coach Pedro Martinez Losa: "A tough loss, this is not what we expected today. We are also trying to think positively to recover quickly - football does not give you much time.
"The opponents are one of the best teams in the world and we are also missing a lot of international players. I assume total responsibility because I think this team is capable of being better, but that is part of the game."
- 1van Domselaar
- 3DijkstraSubstituted forvan Dongenat 75'minutes
- 18CasparijSubstituted forWilmsat 75'minutes
- 13JansenSubstituted forMiedemaat 83'minutes
- 10van de Donk
- 14GroenenSubstituted forEgurrolaat 67'minutes
- 22BrugtsSubstituted forPelovaat 68'minutes
- 5van Dongen
- 14McLauchlanSubstituted forNapierat 80'minutes
- 16RodgersSubstituted forClarkat 81'minutes
- 6MacLeanSubstituted forEvansat 45'minutes
- 18EmslieSubstituted forBrownat 45'minutes
- 20ThomasSubstituted forDavidsonat 80'minutes
- Ivana Projkovska
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