World Cup semifinalists Belgium capitalised on a series of mistakes with goals from Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and a Michy Batshuayi double to thrash Scotland 4-0 in a friendly at Hampden on Friday.
Roberto Martinez’s men showed their class and no hangover from their exertions in finishing third in Russia to warm-up for their Nations League opener against Iceland on Tuesday.
However, the visitors were handed a series of gifts by a Scotland side that slumped to a fourth defeat in five games since manager Alex McLeish was appointed for a second spell in charge.
Though Martinez named a strong side, it took a gift from Aston Villa’s John McGinn to get the visitors going when the midfielder was caught in possession on the edge of his own box and Mousa Dembele and Thorgan Hazard teed up Lukaku for his 41st international goal.
Eden Hazard smashed home Belgium’s second a minute into the second-half, but again McLeish might have been disappointed to see goalkeeper Craig Gordon beaten at his near post.
Valencia striker Batshuayi scored twice in eight minutes before the hour mark after pouncing on slack passes by Charlie Mulgrew and Ryan Jack.
A truer test of McLeish’s ability to qualify Scotland for a first major tournament in over 20 years will come when Albania are the visitors to Hampden on Monday in the Nations League.
Elsewhere, Roberto Mancini’s first competitive game as Italy coach ended in a 1-1 Nations League draw with Poland, midfielder Jorginho saving Azzurri blushes with a second-half penalty to level Piotr Zielinski’s first-half opener in Bologna on Friday.
Italy struggled in all areas, Zielinski opening for Poland five minutes before the break to angry whistles from the crowd at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara.
Federico Chiesa came off the bench in the 71st minute to replace Lorenzo Insigne, and when he was brought down in the box minutes later, Jorginho stepped up to beat Lukasz Fabianski.
Italy pushed for the winner but had to settle for a point before their trip to Lisbon where they will be playing a Portugal side missing Italy-based Cristiano Ronaldo.