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From Alasdair Lamont
BBC Scotland in Moscow
Scotland yielded four goals in 27 minutes in Moscow as a Russia extinguished their slender hopes of Euro 2020 qualification.
Steve Clarkes side held out for nearly a hour before Artem Dzyuba uttered, as well as the striker took his tally to 23 – exactly the identical total as the entire Scotland squad – after Magomed Ozdoevs fierce strike. Aleksandr Golovin created it on.
Scotland took 74 minutes to rally a shot and have scored three goals – and – lost 14 – in the five games of Clarke.
They remain in Group I below Kazakhstan and Cyprus – and will no longer end to secure a finals berth.
But they could still be eligible for their first tournament since 1998 via the Euro 2020 play-offs, which start in March, having left the opportunity last year by winning their Nations League team to progress.
Clarkes men host the groups cellar facet San Marino on Sunday, before finishing their forlorn effort against Cyprus and also Kazakhstan.
A passive Russian performance for almost an hour of the game lulled into a false sense of safety scotland.
There were indications in that period that the Scots had found classes in chastening defeats by Belgium and Russia. But it soon became apparent that the hosts were waiting to up the ante, they did in 13 second-half minutes for the moment.
Dzyuba had been their tormentor-in-chief, bullying the Scotland defence and in Charlie Mulgrew, that had been held off by the striker because he hooked the goal and outside David Marshall hands.
Three seconds later, the match was as good as finished while the ball was worked back to Ozdoev and from around 30 yards he arrowed a drive.
The Russian – Dzyubas moment – was the Scotland defence in its worst. Mario Fernandes made his manner into the byeline, going the ball back to the striker, who hauled Mulgrews tried struggle to knock on on it into the internet off.
It was a ruthless, almost unkind dissection of that which had threatened to appear to be a Scotland performance. However, any positivity garnered in a goalless first half has been erased when the continuous menace of Golovin grabbed a fourth, shooting across Marshall and in.
Clarke had declared pre-match he was searching for points in the four qualifiers, as asunder was ripped, but that looked naive.
Quibbled with his appointment as well as his run of fittings has been a one, but its tough to overstate the magnitude of the task facing him to turn around the fortunes of a squad that is bedraggled.
For imagination, Golovin pushed Dzyuba hard for its accolade, but the strikers two objectives only edges him ahead of his team-mate.
The 6ft forwardss power and ability are a fearsome mix , especially against a defence as malleable as the Scots. He struck the bar with another effort and few would have begrudged him a hat-trick on a nighttime he tormented the life .
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