Sporting Kansas City forward Johnny Russell earned his 13th career cap for the Scotland Men's National Team on Monday, logging 13 minutes as a second-half substitute in a 4-0 loss to world No. 1-ranked Belgium at Hampden Park in Glasgow.
Russell entered for Matthew Phillips with Scotland already trailing by three goals and injected the hosts with energy during the dying embers, but Belgium's unquestioned class proved too much to overcome in the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier. Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne recorded three first-half assists, setting up Romelu Lukaku, Thomas Vermaelen and Toby Alderweireld, before adding a fourth goal of his own in the 82nd minute to complete the scoring.
Monday's defeat drops Scotland to fifth place in Group I of Euro qualifying with four matchdays still to play between now and November. The top two finishers will advance to next summer's quadrennial tournament, which will take place in 12 different cities across the European continent.
Even if the Scots fail to secure a top-two finish in Group I, they will have another shot at qualifying for the competition via the Euro 2020 playoffs next spring. Scotland earned a spot in the Euro 2020 playoffs via their first-place finish in Group 1 of the 2018-19 UEFA Nations League C, which also resulted in promotion to League B for the 2020-21 tournament.
Russell will now rejoin Sporting for the club's last five fixtures of the 2019 MLS regular season. The decisive stretch of games begins Sunday when Manager Peter Vermes' men visit the LA Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. Kickoff is set for 9 p.m. CT with live coverage on FS1, FOX Deportes, the FOX Sports app, ESPN 94.5 FM and La Grande 1340 AM.