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Scotland humbled by heavy defeat in friendly against United States
• United States 5-1 Scotland
Craig Levein suffered his heaviest defeat as Scotland manager as the United States cruised to a 5-1 win in Saturday night's friendly in Jacksonville.
Landon Donovan helped himself to a hat-trick and Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones grabbed a goal apiece, with an own goal from Geoff Cameron doing little to ease what was a humiliating night for the Scots. The hosts sit 19 places above Scotland in the Fifa world rankings but the gulf between the two nations appeared far greater.
The result proved to be ample reward for the 44,438 fans who contributed to a record-breaking crowd for a friendly in the state of Florida.
Levein had named an attack-minded side for the match in the EverBank Field, led by striker Kenny Miller. The Blackpool winger Matt Phillips made his international debut and Wigan's Shaun Maloney earned his first cap since November 2010. In defence, Andy Webster made his first appearance since victory over the Czech Republic in Levein's first game in charge in March 2010.
The host nation needed three minutes to open the scoring. Donovan – making his 139th appearance – took advantage of sloppy defending by Phil Bardsley to lash high into the net just inside the six-yard box after seeing an initial effort blocked by Allan McGregor.
The Americans continued to pile on the pressure and they were celebrating again with 11 minutes on the clock when Jones found Bradley in plenty of space and he unleashed a shot from 30 yards that left the goalkeeper with no chance.
However, the Scots hauled themselves back into the match when they pulled a goal back four minutes later. Phillips found Bardsley and he picked out Miller with a long cross to the back post and the Cardiff forward's header was bundled into his own net by Cameron.
The United States still looked dangerous and José Torres clipped the crossbar with a free-kick from just outside the box.
The first booking of the match came after 29 minutes when United States skipper and Rangers defender Carlos Bocanegra was cautioned for a challenge on Old Firm rival Scott Brown. The Celtic midfielder was then the victim of a crunching challenge by Jones, who escaped a booking from the referee.
Scotland made their first change after 50 minutes when Barry Bannan was withdrawn to make way for Don Cowie. Russell Martin and Steven Whittaker were then both thrown into the action but hopes of salvaging the match were dealt a blow when the home side claimed their third on the hour mark.
Jones was the provider again, this time supplying the pass from the right for Donovan to coolly slot past McGregor from 10 yards. There was worse to come for Scotland when Donovan grabbed his hat-trick five minutes later with an effort that came off the inside of the post and into the back of the net, beyond the grasp of McGregor.
Donovan then turned provider with a lovely cross for Jones to bullet a header past the Scotland goalkeeper and make it 5-1 with 20 minutes to go.
Taken from the Guardian/Observer