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Luis de la Fuente reflects on painful defeat to Scotland

Spain’s coach suffered his first defeat in charge as his side lost 2-0 in Glasgow in the second Euro 2024 qualifier.

Spain's coach Luis de la Fuente (L) and Scotland's head coach Steve Clarke react during the UEFA Euro 2024 group A qualification football match between Scotland and Spain at Hampden Park stadium in Glasgow, on March 28, 2023. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP)

Scott McTominay found the back of the net twice as Scotland kept up their 100% record in Group A beating Spain 2-0 win at Hampden in the second Euro 2024 qualifying game. It was Scotland’s first victory over Spain since November 1984 and Luis de la Fuente’s first defeat since taking the Spain job in December.

The result leaves Steve Clarke’s side top of the group on six points with Spain just behind in second on three. Scotland will have the chance to extend their lead with two qualifiers in June against Norway and Cyprus while Spain are busy taking part in the Nations League Final four.

De la Fuente reflected on a night when nothing went right for his players.

First defeat: “Well, it’s a painful defeat. Analysing the game, I think we did some things well and those efforts could have changed the final result. I am happy with those positive aspects, but it’s clear we have a lot of improving to do. I was happy with the attitude the lads showed tonight”.

Unable to find a way past Scotland’s solid block: “At this level, you can be punished for the smallest mistake. Two accidents, which the players can’t be blamed for. It serves to show us that even the toniest incident can tip the balance out of your favour. But we dominated play for much of the first half”.

Chances, hitting the woodwork, possible penalty… “I didn’t get a chance to see it. I would rather focus on the moments of danger that we created and to have a clear idea about how we can work on and develop that. I think we’ve sewn the seeds and that the future will bring us better experiences”.

Improvements to be made before the Nations League in June: “There are always things that can be changed and improved. We have work to do. The players interpreted the idea well and I could see that they identified with it”.

Given the chance would you name the same squad list? “Of course. I would bet on this group of players a thousand times”.