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Gibraltar 0-2 Scotland: Analysis

Scotland's Che Adams scores to make it 2-0 during an International Friendly match between Gibraltar and Scotland at Estadio Algarve, on June 03, 2024, in Faro, Portugal.
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Thomas Duncan, BBC Sport Scotland

This match was never likely to serve up much intrigue given the context.

A largely empty stadium. A Scotland squad with some players short of match fitness, and others concerned about suffering the same fate as Lyndon Dykes by getting injured so close to the tournament. And a poor Gibraltar side.

It was hardly a surprise this was a low tempo affair. In truth there is not much Steve Clarke can take from it beyond getting some minutes into the likes of Grant Hanley, Kieran Tierney, Ryan Jack, and Che Adams.

Ross McCrorie made his debut at right-back, but cannot be judged against such opposition. And even then the Bristol City player was caught out for Gibraltar's one chance in the first-half, when a pass was curled in behind him.

What is a concern is the poor finishing. Scotland had enough chances to make this a lot more comfortable.

In isolation it could be written off, but a lack of killer instinct was also evident in the defeats by the Netherlands and Northern Ireland in March.

Germany, Switzerland, and Hungary will be similarly unforgiving if that continues.

Ever since serenely qualifying for Euro 2024, Scotland's momentum has stalled and injury issues have dogged their build up.

The loss of first-choice right-backs Aaron Hickey and Nathan Patterson, and midfielder Lewis Ferguson was compounded by Dykes' training ground injury.

Others such as Hanley, Jack, Ben Doak, Liam Cooper, and Adams barely played in recent months, and Adams has had a calf issue. Cooper was forced off in Faro, too.

The only positive note is it has stopped the run of seven games without a win, and warm-up friendlies scarcely reflect a team's tournament performance.

Three years ago Scotland were impressive in drawing with the Netherlands, while also seeing off Luxembourg, and failed to win a group stage game.

For Clarke it's all about what happens between the 14 and 24 June.