STV Sport sponsored by Papa Johns

Scotland slump to 3-0 Nations League defeat against Republic of Ireland

Republic of Ireland bounced back from two defeats to win comfortably at the Aviva Stadium.

Scotland slump to 3-0 Nations League defeat against Republic of Ireland SNS Group

Scotland have been beaten 3-0 by Republic of Ireland in their Nations League match in Dublin.

Goals from Alan Browne, Troy Parrott and Michael Obafemi sealed three points for Stephen Kenny’s side in a match where the hosts were comfortably the better side.

Manager Steve Clarke and his players had travelled to Dublin hoping that they had put the World Cup play-off defeat to Ukraine fully behind them and that Wednesday’s win over Armenia would be the start of another positive run of results.

Instead, an Ireland side smarting from two 1-0 defeats in their first two Nations League games proved to be the better side and took their chances to be two goals to the good by half time and almost assured of victory when they scored a third early in the second half.

While Steve Clarke had made just two changes to his Scotland team, bringing in Grant Hanley and Scott McTominay for John Souttar and Stuart Armstrong,Ireland boss Stephen Kenny made five, transforming his team in the hope of a first win in the competition and a first competitive home win since 2019.

Kenny’s calls proved to be the right one as Ireland were on top from the first moment. Scotland didn’t settle and the hosts were able to continually get forward and test the back line, getting their first real reward 20 minutes in.

A James McClean corner was headed down and back across goal by Shane Duffy and Browne was well placed to bundle the ball over the line and give his side the lead.

After the heavy criticism that followed their two defeats, the goal seemed to lift a weight from some players’ shoulders and Scotland didn’t seem to have any answer to their energy.

The second goal came seven minutes after the opener. Obafemi took possession in front of the defence and played in a perfectly-judged ball that Parrott headed past the onrushing Craig Gordon.

With Scotland failing to make anything from half-chances and set-pieces, Clarke found himself needing to make a change and at half-time he brought Billy Gilmour on for Jack Hendry. It failed to turn the tide and Ireland scored their third six minutes after the break.

Obafemi had been a constant thorn in Scotland’s side and he took centre-stage when he won a battle for the ball and turned before unleashing an unstoppable shot from 30 yards that moved in the air and past Gordon into the net.

Ireland were in command and able to be a little more conservative, while Clarke made a triple change, sending Ross Stewart, Stuart Armstrong and Jacob Brown for Che Adams, Ryan Christie and John McGinn.

Scotland looked better in the final half hour but Ireland were still not put under serious pressure. They came close to a fourth when Grant Hanley cleared off the line and it took a VAR review to see if the margin of victory would be increased.

Neither side added to the scoring and Scotland were left to reflect on a second defeat of the international camp, with a trip to face Armenia in Yerevan up next.