Newcastle big center-half Grant Hanley had a decent enough game for Scotland against England last night at Wembley in the 3-0 loss and he played well, especially in the first half when he was prominent in heading crosses clear.
But as we mentioned in our report last night he had a huge opportunity to equalize for Scotland in the first half when he had a free header from eight yards out but somehow mistimed his header and the ball went way over the bar.
He had his head in his hands after the miss as he knew he should have scored and that was just three minutes after Daniel Sturridge had given England the lead after 20 minutes.
Grant Hanley missing glorious chance to equalize
But Scotland were guilty of missing quite a few good chances last night against an England team that hardly looked commanding and they seemed nervous and hesitant too often, especially in defense.
This is what Grant said after the game:
“It’s the chances we missed that have cost us the game. They took their chances and have won the game 3-0.”
“We can say we’re unlucky but at the end of the day it comes down to the chances we missed.” “If my header goes in we would definitely be talking about a different story.”
“I’ve got to score that. That’s the bottom line. Or at least hit the target.”
“Although they had their goal, they were already rattled at that point. If that goes in it’s a different game.”
“I just don’t think it was a 3-0 game. I can’t really remember them having that many chances.
“I was saying to big Christophe Berra that we felt fairly comfortable – it didn’t feel like they were getting in behind us.”
“Obviously it’s a different story when they are 3-0 up. They were keeping the ball and looking confident.”
“But it certainly wasn’t that kind of game. We felt like we put them under pressure. At stages in the first half and at the start of the second half they looked rattled.”
“But they have world-class players in their team playing in the Champions League. That’s the bottom line.”
Scotland had a good spell early in the second half but missed two excellent chances and that was really the difference in the game.
Grant Hanley – Oh no!
England took the three good chances they had – all headers from Sturridge, Lallana and Cahill and in the end ran out easy winners to go top of the group with 10 points from the first 4 games.
But we’ve always been good at qualifying – it’s when it really matters in the finals of these competitions that England have a very bad habit of not turning up.