SCOTLAND boss Alex McLeish claimed the loss of the first goal was key to the nation’s 2-0 defeat against World Cup-bound Peru at the Estadio Nacional in Lima in the early hours of yesterday morning.
The Scots were fairly comfortable until the 37th minute when Christian Cueva scored from the penalty spot following a blunder from debutant keeper Jordan Archer.
Defender Scott McKenna was forced to handle a Jefferson Farfan shot after the Millwall No.1 had raced from his line in an attempt to clear a through ball.
Farfan made it 2-0 from close range in the 47th minute with Archer slow to react to his powderpuff shot.
McLeish gave debuts to seven players in Lima – Archer, Stephen O’Donnell, Lewis Stevenson, Dylan McGeouch, Lewis Morgan, Graeme Shinnie and Chris Cadden.
The national gaffer said: “The first goal was a big setback.
“I felt we contained Peru very well, they are a good team, technically good, very strong, quick.
“It was very disappointing to lose the goal just before half-time. It was really a basic ball over the top and normally it should be easy for the defender, but we didn’t deal with it well. Overall, though, I was happy with the team’s display.
“I thought the defenders were very strong, very organised, didn’t make it easy for Peru.
“The second-half, after the early goal, it gave them some more confidence to show their skills and at that moment in the game it was a bit difficult.
“We got over it and made a couple of chances in the end, but never really threatened the goal.”