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Euro 2024 warm-up game: Scotland 2-0 Gibraltar – match report

Ryan Christie and Che Adams net first international goals in two years as Scotland eventually see off world no203

Scotland edged a 2-0 win over lowly Gibraltar in their first Euro 2024 warm-up match in Portugal.

Steve Clarke’s men had 25 shots on goal against the minnows, whom they beat 6-0 in their last meeting in 2015 and who are ranked 203 in the world, but only five were on target.

Ryan Christie’s goal from Andy Robertson’s cross just before the hour staved off the threat of an embarrassing result, though Clarke was given another injury worry as Liam Cooper limped off with an apparent knee problem.

With Lyndon Dykes already out of the Euros, Che Adams staked his claim for a starting berth up front in Germany with a fine late goal off the bench after Hearts hot-shot Lawrence Shankland had failed to impress.

Clarke was without Scott McTominay, Stuart Armstrong, John Souttar and Ben Doak and were seeking to end a seven match winless streak and also a scoring drought which dated back to the 3-3 draw with Norway in November.

Scotland saw appeals for an early penalty for a pull on Ryan Porteous waved away before Christie drove forward and saw a fierce left-footed shot tipped around the post by keeper Jaylan Hankins

Robertson’s subsequent corner was headed into the ground and over the bar by the unmarked Grant Hanley and moments later the Liverpool full-back darted to the byline and pulled back for James Forrest, winning his first cap in three years, who could only side-foot inches past the near post with the goal at his mercy.

31-goal Hearts striker Shankland whipped a curling right-footed shot wide of the upright from the edge of the area while Christie could only steer a far-post volley high and wide as the visitors piled on the pressure.

Forrest blazed well over the bar from distance just before the half-hour while another Robertson cross from the left byline was headed off target by the well-placed Kenny McLean, who couldn’t quite get on the end of an inswinging cross from Christie moments later.

Hanley’s header from another Robertson corner was clawed off the line by Hankins, with Porteous’ lunge at the loose ball blocked on the line, and Hanley also sliced a volley wide after a flick from debutant Ross McCroarie.

Keeper Zander Clark, making a rare start, was only called into action once, to keep out Ethan Britto’s angled strike on the break just before half-time.

It was Gibraltar’s only effort while Scotland had managed to get just three of their 20 first-half efforts on target.

Clarke withdrew Hanley at the break with Cooper coming on and he looped a header well over from a Billy Gilmour corner two minutes after his introduction.

Cooper saw another downward header saved by Hankins but the deadlock was finally broken just before the hour when Robertson’s cross to the far post was controlled by Christie before stepping inside his marker and lashing home inside the near post for his first Scotland goal in two years and sixth overall.

Robertson and Forrest were withdrawn for Che Adams and Kieran Tierney midway through the second half and though Tierney went down with an ankle knock almost immediately, he was swiftly back up.

In the final 20 minutes Cooper was forced off after a heavy challenge seemed to cause a knee problem, with Scott McKenna coming on, but Clarke’s day ended on a high as John McGinn spun in the area and clipped a perfect cross to the back post for Adams to thunder home a fine volley for his first goal in 11 appearances for his country.

It put the gloss on just a third Scotland win in their last 20 friendly games while inflicting a 13th straight defeat on Gibraltar.

Picture of Alex Hoad

Alex Hoad

Alex has more than 15 years' experience in sports journalism and has reported on multiple Olympics, World Cups and European Championships in additional to Champions League, Europa League and domestic football.