Strachan praises beaten Scots
Scotland manager Gordon Strachan admits he felt sorry for his players after they ended their World Cup qualifier against Belgium empty-handed.
Goals in either half from Steven Defour and Kevin Mirallas saw the Red Devils claim a 2-0 victory at Hampden.
Strachan felt several of his own players excelled on the night, despite the defeat, but concedes the Scots were simply up against a far superior side.
He said: "If you get six really terrific performances from individuals, you would think that would be enough to get you something from the game.
"And I thought I got six terrific performances. I got 14 performances from the heart, which is fine, I don't have a problem with that.
"I got as much as I think I could have got. There were points where we stumbled a few times and slipped a few times and gave the ball away in areas that cost us a couple of times.
"But I do feel a bit sorry for them for putting so much work into that against probably one of the best international teams in the world just now."
The win allowed Belgium to increase their lead at the top of Group A to five points, while Scotland's own hopes of qualification for Brazil next summer are long gone.
Strachan added: "The physicality of them is just incredible, which made it harder for our players. It was like a flyweight versus a heavyweight.
"It's very hard to keep taking these knocks and shoves but they kept at it.
"There was a point in the second half where we thought we were going to get an equaliser with just a wee bit of magic.
"At the moment we have to put in 20 passes to get an attempt at goal. We have to do a lot of passing and a lot of work so it's very hard for us to score goals at the moment.
"They are in a right good place and we are in a place where we are trying to get better. Technically, they are better than us, with their strength.
"We've got big hearts and I do believe we had some terrific performances as individuals."
Asked if Scotland can ever reach the level of the Belgians, Strachan said: "What do we do about genetics?
"You stand in that tunnel and you look at the size of them, with their pace and strength. We have hearts as big as them.
"But it's like playing at the rugby where you have a pack that's two or three stone heavier and you have to be clever to get through."
Scotland defeated Croatia in their last qualifier and produced a decent display in a friendly against England at Wembley last month.
But, on the Belgians, Strachan said: "I think they are the best team we have played in the last three games.
"In international football, it's one of the best teams I've seen, played against, managed against - they are one of the best teams I've seen."
Reflecting on his own side's victory, Belgium coach Marc Wilmots said: "I'm very proud of my group, with the quality of play they have shown.
"We were very stable in the first half. The second half was a bit different but our stability was our strength against the Scots."
Belgium also defeated Scotland 2-0 when the two nations last met in Brussels in October 2012.
Asked if he felt there was a difference between their opponents in this match, compared to the previous encounter, Wilmots said: "We deserved the victory.
"It's difficult for me to judge the Scots' play. We did our work beforehand.
"We used our own strong weapons. I prefer to look at my own team rather than other teams."
The win at Hampden sparked wild celebrations as the Belgians took another massive leap towards qualification for the World Cup.
Wilmots said: "We took a big step towards qualification for Brazil but we are not there yet.
"We haven't got our ticket yet. It's still open.
"We are five points clear with a good goal ratio and that's why we enjoyed this moment with the fans and the players.
"But we cannot have a party yet because we have not qualified yet."
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